the stack of books
piled next to my front door
i'm going to get rid of all of the
romantic poets
that i'd kept hidden at the very back of my bookshelves
i've no use for them

the wind is howling outside these windows. and i've stuffed loose fabric, the shirts destined to be forgotten at the salvation army as soon as i can get a ride--get around to the getting rid of it, between the outside and where i am. and i realize tonight that Home really isn't that difficult to recognize, if you aren't too stupid to allow it. to let it in. to see it even with all of your eyes closed and your heart and mind open. even if you have absolutely no place to go. there's nothing more that i need to remind me. and i only wish that i knew the words to a language in which i could express the way that this wind holds the stories of my entire history. banging on your window. begging to be let in. like the way i need my coffee in the morning. but there is and always that moment when i left you that answer phone message so many hundreds of days gone by. and the way i don't ever hear the haunting terror of the dog's chain rattling. so much. anymore. i am loved. special. fantastic. in the fabric of these moments of our lives. forever.

even if it's not that serious
it still would be nice if there were someone around
with which to share the test results
that just fell through my shaky hands a few minutes ago
in another room in this apartment
for another year
until we do this dance of cold hands and needles
hospital gowns and waiting rooms
the sounds of ultra
i am fine

have you ever cried so hard and soft that the forgotten places in the mouth like the space under the tongue and the rows of imperfect teeth ache with the feeling--a localized anesthetic of pain--that just doesn't seem to want to stop? even when i make endless lists of dinners i could cook for us. draw maps that try to sort out all the wrong turns we made to end up so useless and alone. paint out all the pictures in my head about the story of our lives in fiery concentric circles the color of tea stains.

I've eaten conch, and eel, and shark. I've eaten caviar, and elk jerky, and kimchee. I've eaten head cheese, and haggis, and duck blood soup. But I have never eaten pheasant.

to make this cramp in my left foot go away
to stop saying the f-word
to figure out how in the hell i'm ever going to figure--even just one of these important things that I need--out
instead, I'm going to make chili
and possibly drink some wine
watch the ingredients build themselves into something pungent and appetizing
wish i remember the way my grandmother sounded
when she laughed

last night i found a card H. had given me on some stray holiday. he loved cards. i hugged his handwriting off of the page and wondered when i'm going to get over this. cried and hoped i never do. because even after a few days, important things begin their fading. like the measure of space between the tip of your thumb and where your wrist begins.

Today, I'm thinking obsessively about the Gaia Theory. Compasses. Invisible body maps.

Right now I want to fight sheets. Sleep with my head directly on the mattress. Drool. Right now I wish I could write this thing in my head that I can't seem to form about alternatives to whispering.

Potential warning labels:

may induce sex dimensionality*

*often accompanied by momentary paralysis

opening the statement from my student loan

I just found myself in the middle of the street in front of traffic.
Sometimes, I forget to just look out.
I'm nowhere close to looking both ways.

Miserably drunk, I wring myself out onto the sacrifice of page. Of words strewn without thought onto the screen. If only I had something to offer. If only my life were as simple to describe as the slow deteriorating fabric of jeans sent once too many times through the dryer.

Without anyone to call to say one damn thing that might be of any significance to anyone at all.


I love you.
I do.

And then some.]

These tobacco kisses I leave. A trail. Staining everything. These sheets. Every memory we ever wanted to make. In our minds. Sometimes, I wish there were a tape recorder hooked up to my brain. Drink my dinner. And wish I knew how to swallow enough to answer the ringing phone. These glasses of red against a blank useless head. I want your hands. Everywhere. These lips, useless. One dumb voice on deaf ears. The weight of a thousand days. Unchained. Words strained through a delicate web of vision if only we could see. What it might be that you mean to me. Loosed. I want it all. Fuck. Angels and silences and the stupid places in between. How to fill up the empty space asking for words. For signs I don't understand how to make. I've forgotten the language both of us used to speak.

Wrapped up in black. The color of city. Jacket tucked high to the neck against the wind. I stride. Up across the 10th street bridge. The world slowly spinning a circle around me. Like some carousel of childhood memories. Passing cars. My father's hands. This pony. I stop on the rise. Listen to the voices sounding in my head. It took a long time to . . . start the spin . . . become the thing I am to you . . . right foot first . . . And you won't tear it apart . . . close the circle . . . without a fight, without a heart . . . spinning and spinning and . . .. Stand there high above the traffic. The stunning wail of distant trains on rails running into distances. In slow motion, I stare. The world--the words--speeding in swirls around me. Grasp the cold metallic cage--this chain link fence meant to keep me from hurtling my life away onto the unforgiving concrete below like cigarette butts--let the awkward angles dig into my skin from the pressure. From this desire to find the center that holds. To step back into time. Close my eyes and scream. From the bottoms of my feet. No words that mean--

It took a long time to
become you, become you.

[Indigo Girls, "Become You"]

under the memory of
paper lanterns

and pub

i can still smell you

you could look for the picture of me that a good friend shot and entered at

[it's pretty cool.]

counting calories in spreadsheets
as if the results of myself
might render up some answer
about all of these things
i can't seem to understand
as easily as dress sizes

after a night of drinking cheap beer and listening to the cd we bought for five dollars locked away from everyone else in your room with piles of blankets and pillows on the floor, we sleep late into the day and over coffee attempt to write the most pathetic haiku structured words we can devise--

the secret to life:
put a balloon in a box
then, blow, really hard

of the bunch--my personal favorite.

it's freezing in my apartment
i grab a Pulli
and wish i had my space heater and
my checkered blanket

perhaps so much so
that it's negated the purpose
opened up the ground swell
and swallowed me whole

i can't hear it now
in the hard beats that try to take me down
the swollen chords
and mixed mournful melodies
the intertextuality of the same voice
the only place you've known

i don't know

i shout to the window pane

because i don't

i can't figure it out

the bed frame
the way the sheets feel like thousand pound weights
against my bones

nothing's sacred his voice yells at me from years and years gone by
and i still don't
the problem always is
and remains
it never was a problem inside my head and heart until now

note, passed to superman

sweet jesus, superman,
if i had seen you
dressed in your blue suit
i would have known you.
maybe that choirboy clark
can stand around
listening to stories
but not you, not with
metropolis to save
and every crook in town
filthy with kryptonite.
lord, man of steel,
i understand the cape,
the leggings, the whole
ball of wax.
you can trust me,
there is no planet stranger
than the one i'm from.

she sings
and i swear
that for tc and all the other people i'm thinking about in these moments when our lives are moving in distracting miles away and to one another
and that damned novel with those haunting blue scraps of paper
floating wildly well in the wind
that home really is only
where you are
and when you know that you are by so many people

I've been trying to write about this fear of guns. About clear glass marbles with blue pin wheels locked on their insides that keep spinning and spinning away. And how memories are like that. Precious moving images that change and reflect in the head -- just out of tangible reach.

you pegged me: intensity.

Sometimes I wonder if we ever touched--embraced--if we both might just combust from all the commotion flitting constantly just underneath our skin. Or if instead it all might stop for some brief undelineated moments of time.

The first time on your porch.

I drank coffee from your mug and thought about the memories I'd already created of us growing old together. Personal incinerations of a story I was never meant to hold too tightly. For fuck's sake, I tell myself, I spend way too much time drunk in thirsty bathtubs to deserve anything like that. Pixels and words are still just signs rendered meaningless without the faith of some universal meaning shared, even, between just the two. I always said love is a choice. Not involuntary. Steeped in magic or hummingbird's wings. It's like deciding whether or not to have red or white. To wear a dress or jeans. To keep breathing or let your head fall heavy under the water. A feeling. The most powerful emotion I've ever experienced. Still a choice -- requiring continual work and recommitment to sustain itself. And you.

and the answer like cotton candy in the mouth dissolves between us
in a rain storm
he says
the invisibility of the image
like lemon drops on the tongue
i don't know what love feels like
a bruise from trying to hold
the phrase for too long in the palm of a hand

I don't have it in me. To say that I wanted you to kiss me when you came home from work. To not ruin everything. Like I do. Always do. But I already did. Like that night at George's when I made everything wild. And I made myself sleep for several hours on the floor the bathroom. Just out of reach of reality. The truth really remains. That I shouldn't be drinking wine or smoking cigarettes with this unknown factor between us. That there is no matter of flight plans or late dinners or yellow tails that can deliver us up from this reality that grasps at my throat and drags me down hard. Like a fist thrown swiftly into the throat. I want these words to make you stop short. Make you hold your breath. But the wanting is simply the reason that they can never be what I want. I can't want anything into fruition. I am merely this. Words on a page that move like ants out of my head. Without reason or plan. I want syllables. Can you hear me? I want them to stay. To stop moving. But they don't. Like respiration. Like the way my eyes won't stop seeing. I'm going to try. For fuck's sake. I wish only that I could.

it's only tuesday, i remind myself. the words whining like stark metallic hinges in my head. collapsing again and again on themselves. but you're gone. and there's no one to tell. only the texture of the cheap bathroom laminate flooring. the dingy gleem like a recompense for all the things i've ever done wrong in my life. i hold my hand against my stomach and wait. repeat the phrase 'everything will be okay' over and over again until the sense falls out. spilling around my head like the fragments of a just dropped glass. placing emphasis where it doesn't belong. this can't be happening. and you're gone. and even an extra heartbeat wouldn't put any more love inside our bones. we've run it out like an expensive bottle of champagne. left only with a slight unlocatable pain in the head and hazy memories of the good times we probably had.