Tuesday, May 31, 2016



"I'm just thinking about the void," I said as he snaked his arms around me, closing the physical gap that is more than physical. Hands lowered to the ass, flesh selected and grasped.

"Oh, yeah?" muffled through a mouthful of net, attempting to kiss my sternum through the halter bra. I bought it because I wanted to feel young and stylish.

Oh, yeah? He used that sex voice, the one that sounds as if the speaker is simultaneously attempting to calm an agitated dog and tempt a child into a large van.

"Yeah.” Chin resting against the crown of his head, his hair partly buzzed and partly long. In fantasy, a kelp forest.

"Yeah, just the nothing!" I said, chipper, almost shrill. "And how the nothing lasts forever!"

"Mm-hmm," his placating affirmation, his everything everywhere, face gone down.

I suppose I felt a little ignored. It's a specific neglect, when one is speaking and thinking, but all of the focus- that ephemeral force field- is zoomed in tightly on the body’s parts, abstracted, like groceries, or goals, items on a treasure hunt checklist finally within grasp.

The neighbor with her cupful of sugar, patient smile for the child and his child’s game.  

Like having a lover that so obsesses over the vagina, it begins to seem as if he actually believes it's food.

And all of the fledgling pride that one feels, for embracing the void of death, and trying to imagine that the void might be real, and how one might feel about that, -such new bravery- is effaced, because this momentary partner, bearing witness to one’s little, profound moment, has known about the void for a long time. He is a bit ahead, and thus, not in the same state.

He wants to just be alive as he eats the body and fucks it, to consume, warlike. All his femininity (that French lisp) discarded.

To be so ignored while somebody is literally inside of the body is very strange. There are many kinds of voids, I think now, and they are not all technically death.

There are many failings of language, many triumphs of physicality, little erasures and collisions.

I wonder at the fact that every street on Earth isn't teeming with people walking with slight limps.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Cortez the Killer

Now I am twenty-seven and I have returned to Neil Young despite the fact that I am afraid.

I hope that everybody I have loved understands that, well,

That I love them. That: I try to navigate life from my position in a hole in the ground.
Try to live despite my strong inclination to climb into a hole in the ground.
But I know, I know,

Why rush it? The hole in the ground.

I could tell a hundred stories about how it felt when finally I got what I wanted. I wanted intimacy like a hot knife to the groin, intimacy, all soft-hearted and clay, raw organ, saliva.

Intimacy from ______ because at some moment I decided- I don’t know- some bullshit about why I should have what I want,

Why I should have what I want and I’m prostrate again, in the smallest of the cabins, the one with the haunted window, and ______ is there and we are kissing and my selfish sorrow manifested a pearl to grind my teeth against. How nice.

How very like licking a mirror, just cold, and it does not give and ripple as true reflections do.

I have been the last to learn that I am loved as well as all alone, and loved and alone, avoiding Neil Young, because he will tell me, it’s still there- gesture to the hole- that huge hole so big a desert couldn’t fill it, it’s still there that hole in your spirit, that hole in your pocket.

(And it hardly bears lisping but no hot knife is gonna warm you.)

You are most yourself maybe in these moments of aloneness, all baffled and sickened, and aware. Most yourself maybe in that moment before you awaken to awareness of the ghost.

Or maybe most yourself in joyousness, in distraction, or maybe in fear because it electrifies, or when you’re grinding the magic mushrooms in honey & propolis, or when the vision caresses a far corner, leaving only confusion-

When you are down and out, and on the way up

Tuesday, January 12, 2016


Do you remember what you wore the day your heart was broken for the first time? Or maybe it was the fourth time, but it approached with the rush of an Amtrak, and it didn't pay any mind to your swaying limbs, tore some off and they ended up the same place that tumbleweeds go-

thereafter, you commiserated with Faye Dunaway's Bonnie, with Joni Mitchell as she sang of lovers on the street, that looked so high. (She bumped into a stranger, and they both apologized.)

I remember that it was a long cotton dress, it was sort of Antigone, and brushed the tops of my feet. I still had long hair in a braid and those woven leather sandals with their little wedge heels. I was driving Ventura Highway and listening to John Phillips, John the Wolfking of La. 

Have you heard that album? It's one for the ages.

This is not an interesting story in cold fact, but I think the story's accessories are interesting; the garments that the gross, tepid story inhabited, old fish wrapped in a mermaid veil of seaweed.

Monday, November 16, 2015

“Love is a story told to a friend; it’s secondhand”

I don’t know how I used to stand it, because I can’t stand it now, and have not listened to Neil Young on purpose for years. Sometimes I bump into him in boutiques or the far reaches of T.V show soundtracks, but it never goes well.
When I was young, I was strong and could stand to hear a voice that fragile. Now when I hear him, it hits me like a twist in the pleura, a sort of center-of-the-body twist that also affects my stomach and even, vaguely, my butt.


I gave my best young self to Kieran when I was a teenager, and came over to his house with my record player. I brought him a strawberry plant that I had grown over the course of a humid June; we drank Negro Modelos and ate strawberries and inhabited our naked eighteen-year-old bodies while Out on the Weekend played. It was my idea and he was only half-interested in being there. This relationship continued for a few weeks which felt like years, both “anticlimactic” and “cataclysmic” in nature, which is maybe the nature of teenaged affairs.

I can’t remember if his house got robbed first, or if he broke up with me first, but either way, my record player was stolen from his bedroom, (along with the weed plants in his backyard, and the puppy Pit Bull that tried to eat everything,) and Kieran broke up with me. I emailed my dad about it; he was in Costa Rica. I think I said that I was sad, and my dad said, never forget that men are fools.

This was a long time ago now. Kieran is turning twenty-eight next month and we are friends again. He lives in the flower fields of the central valley. I live in Oakland and wake up cold every morning. I don’t even listen to records anymore. They used to mean so much to me. I listen to Spotify now, or podcasts. The other day, This American Life started playing on my phone as I shopped for a duvet cover at Crate and Barrel. I thought,

I’ve become one of those really normal people.

I can’t remember very much about that affair with Kieran. As I have mentioned, I was young and innocent, which means that my own somewhat extravagant drug use came later, wiping memories from my brain as if by squeegee. I was scandalized by the cocaine on the coffee table, ambivalent about the Pit Bull puppy, alarmed by the screeching of the stray cats outside. I doubt Kieran ever said anything noteworthy, as I seemed to take note of none of it. I just remember his body (creepy, I know,) his single tattoo, his John Lennon shirt with holes in the armpits. I remember driving him to work and trying to get him to like the mandolin solo in Maggie May.
I can’t believe I’m moving to Los Angeles. My plan, and desperate desire, has always been to never live nearer to my hometown than I do now- about six hours away. It’s not because I dislike my hometown, although I do. It’s because I hate everybody from my hometown. Except for the one or two people that I love. And although I love them, I can’t seem to bear to see them.
I carry either a myth or a true dose of sorrow. It means that I cannot see ex-boyfriends. It means that I have to carry on and pretend that I have forgotten even more than I have.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

the following night

I. Morning

Sometimes I see mushrooms in my dreams
large and nearly white as stones,
they speak silently of rain,

and I wake up.

II. Night-time

It rained today. Almost as if
my mushroom dream was a
movement of future/prediction,
clairvoyance or wish-made-truth.

What prescience told me that
my dream meant rain, I don't know.
Because dreams mean rarely more than
despair, a muggy unknowing and
the approach of latent wakefulness,
like a sound that reaches me.

I'm so uncertain, it's a jitter
in both sides of my cage.

III. The Following Night

I've been meaning all day to say:
that Phil is moving into a trailer
in the woods. He says more
or less that he may bloom
or just decay.

I can see him there with his french-
press and meticulous sandwiches.
He's such a wonderful cook. He is loving
with beets and greens, every
meal a last meal.

IV. Interjection

-I mean nothing by it- I am full
of love but it is a directionless tumult
gush, both rapid and rapids, leading
nowhere: I exist within a halo of spray
blue-green and luminous

tender riparian vortex, wide-open
and trap.

V. More Rain

More rain came today, with
a generosity, sudden thrashing
that I had always suspected
God reserved for love.

It is sad that it doesn't really matter.
The sticks are tossed: for
years, we'll read them every day
fire by fire.

But for me:
because I am bone and
also bouquet,
flesh and also flash-

nothing matters more.

In my state of marginal
illness, of marginal wellness,
nothing matters more

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

And all I can think of is the noise I might make when expressing physical pain

I see myself in you
in the way you are a smudge of light in a dark
space, strange lit-up bug hovering
beside the entrance of roaring

anomaly of energy

I read your poems and
I keep thinking that you’re talking about masturbating,
but I’m the one talking about masturbating

and the vision of a golden hand reaching up
through me as if searching for
keys on a hook

hanging from the roof
of my mouth

it still hovers like some drug
vapor, and all I can think of
is the noise I might make
when expressing physical

because I am groaning
beneath the heft
of this life

and I labor beneath the laboring
body, coral bones of
some ghost as they batter
against the oppression of
our strange and
stratified timelines-

Life lines
I’m going to have to tear whole
cliffs to
sand with my fingernails

I’m going to have to bottle sweat
and sell it to myself as a cure

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Made a Life of Letting

True love
keeps falling out of the bed. Every time I’ve scraped the vertebrae
to kiss it
it is gone

like a nightmare meeting

How do I allude to a morning that happened quite
specifically in my own left

I used to say years ago
we’d make the love that would

-but the past is nobody-
-the past is a landless bastard-
the past is not
and is no land at all.

I have made a life of finding my own
darkness unexceptional
I have made a life of letting men

I have made a life of letting men
slump on my breast

You should be ashamed of yourself.
(Shame is like mold, it is the bastard of nature.)

As if I did not possess my own
humble cuneiform,

I am going to hold him in my mind
and cut his arms off arm
by arm:

I will hold him in my mind
until lovingly I push him off
the deck.

At the marina, cover your
lap with microfleece:
Put the seat back. Like a child.
The cypress sways, and the light will lower
from brutal to gold.

Listen to the old song, the one where the girl says,
if you were a shepherd I could love you.

I would like to forget how you fell out of my bed.
(If you were a shepherd I could love you.)

I would like to forget the morning on that indifferent
cliff. (If you were a shepherd I could

I would like to forget