Monday, October 3, 2011

Going Home

concrete that tastes
like sea salt, asphalt
warm like sand, a sun
beating down like a hand
on my back, pushing me
out the door, down the
street, going

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Orchid

the bloom's long withered
in it's place, a new leaf grows -
seeking tomorrow.

Sunday, July 3, 2011


I've just named all of my unnamed childre- I mean, poems. A lot of them were untitled. I realize that if I don't title a poem, I don't even remember it. But if I do title a poem, I can remember what it's about.

Saturday, July 2, 2011


I sort of messed this up with two extended metaphors.

I have heart strings playing to the
tune of your spinal chords -

and I’m trying to cut every
one of them.

The photos from my camera throat may
be negatives, but my chemicals just
develop them differently - a concoction
of bad memories, of nightmares and photos
pushed face down into the desk
in the middle of the night in a sweat -

ever since the time regret started to
bloom like a corpse flower
in my chest, my words have been poisonous,
passive-aggressive pin pricks;

making you sad isn’t a pastime;
it’s a cry for cease and desist;
look at the photos
ejecting from my lips - pretend you
were me tonight and see
them develop and
bloom to color in your night vision.

You’d force my photo to the desk,
writhe in the uncertainty of my smile
and wonder just who in the world could
love you best, but if you're like me
you'd want me all the while.

I’m not trying to make you feel guilty;
I know you never meant to hurt me,
but my love has been a sprint against a hurricane
and I’m trying to find the eye
that once smiled so warmly against the storm;

I never had to ask the beads of sun
dripping through to keep me warm but
I never expected night to fall like lead
down the billowed cities,

and I never expected the light to just
keep on falling past
the horizon -

I've been writing a ladder
and trying to climb it faster
before my thoughts can leap
from the skyscrapers
to escape the rain;

you can’t expect to get
anywhere until the night stops falling
but it’s impossible to wait when
the furnaces in your basements are exploding, and
fear and hate burst like fire
into your dark rooms because
there’s only so much we can take,
only so much we can give,
only so much we can hope
before the photos curl like
cocoons around us -

I don’t know who has some
growing to do, but my feathers sit
on the cage floor like prayers
and I don’t feel like singing
so off-tune;

it’s hard to tell yourself you
hopped the wrong line,
missed the subway doors, now
closing, now

Now you're stuck in the storm.

It’s hard to believe a mistake,
when you see one, lie in the
chemical bath and let the wind come
tear the photos
from their frames,
and realize what is really
on the paper once the colors fully

and with the wind
blow away.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Sunday, May 1, 2011

A Night to Remember

Osama Bin laden died
the 1st of May; American citizens
lined up in front of the White House
to cheer and sing - death
has seldom been welcomed
with such open hearts, fists
in the air, hands joined with
ghosts between their fingers -

I wonder about the mothers,
fathers, sitting in front of their TVs

wondering if their sons and daughters
can hear the chanting from their pine boxes

sitting in the same silence -

for this death, no Americans
were harmed

and none have gone home,
some never will.

I tell my father, who says “There will
be another nutjob to follow in his place.”

I’m just having a hard time cheering -

death has never made me smile -

my fist knows everything but air
my fingers thinking of the
triggers and the dirt

the casualties in body bags
the casualties marred in the retinas

some things can’t be forgotten

what you were doing the day
the World Trade Center fell

but there are soldiers whose names
are worn away by the rain

Afghan civilians whose blood
will become a part of the soil and all
my kids will learn about is the numbers

I won’t be able to teach them
an Afghan mother’s tears, clutching
her dead baby, killed by an American

I won’t be able to teach them
what those picket signs meant, the thoughts
of their holders, what Hell is, why
they think American soldiers will
go there, why God should be thanked
for their deaths

I won’t be able to teach them
about how Korans could be
burned, cultures
marred by prejudice

I won’t be able to teach them
how a child their age
can grow up and have a funeral
the entire world celebrates

I could never, I don’t have the heart,
to teach them the meaning
of hate, of fists in the air
at one man’s death -

I could never teach them every name
every tear
how I cried when my friends went off to war
came home from Iraq and got sent to Afghanistan a week later -

some things don’t end
life is not one of them

but never have I seen it amount to something
so small, and death
so huge
and if I had to tell them
what hate was

I guess I could only show them this
fists in the air
singing the
Star Spangled Banner so loud
the entire world can hear
the power of our guns.