Saturday, September 29, 2012

nothin' doin'

I decided to cut him loose. I woke alone with a little dread, put my jeans on, my boots; poured some coffee into a metal thermos. I bit my nails to the tender bed and nodded to myself when I considered a long chain of solitary nights. Sounded about right. I drove to work.

Sometimes when I drive with the window down my hat flies off of my head to the backseat and I experience a quick sliver of panic. I respect my hat.

I'm mean these days; I try to hide it. Occasionally I can't help but spit it out, battery acid which has welled up in the caverns between my cheek and gums. I don't like mean people and I don't want to be one, so I quarantine myself, but I'll be damned if there isn't somebody or other who insists upon finding me every time. I used to be the sort of woman that doesn't get mad. She died somewhere along the ride, gone lifeless in the trunk. I'm what's left. And--

I've got no patience. It's like every day is a frame hung crooked on my wall, and it's gnawing at me, this incessant itch to get it straight. "Nothin' doin'."

 I have a golden coin in my pocket. Eighteen months sober thanks to God and Alcoholics Anonymous. He held it in his hands once. We were sitting on my bed. But I don't remember a prevailing warmth. Just the way that, in the dark, he checked his mobile phone and lit himself a cigarette and I thought, well this ain't it. 

Friday, September 28, 2012

You old boots
have been dragged far to bone-bleach
like a dead horse

yet only my cruel feet

you hot silver do not protest
close proximity

and the holy mother of jesus
lives between my collar bones

stares out with clear-eyed disdain or
filial love,

these jeans have stretch--

this body sweats
salt, and rose-oil, and
a decade's weariness

an old man called me
sir until I spoke

I did not mind
because I am afraid

of all the things
which my sex threatens

and of all those things
which don't discriminate.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

the letter knife

maybe it was
the gasp
when his chest was wrapped
round that

maybe it was the instant when he knew
his love to be

something evil like hot
red iron,

a cracked gas pipe

big woman and
she killed him,

and killed another one too,
them fellas just did not praise her,

then shuffled into the asylum

maybe it was too much tobacco,
he done drunk paint to excess.

And all the sinners are
throwing stones

at the homes where the lovers
read stories and


this is America,

peace be with you and
also with me, hell,

i work hard.
we drinking house paint
thick white lacquer

straight from the church,
Prohibition style,

smeared across teeth and
"sensitive gums"

said the store as I bought
Old Spice and

eyed five-
dollar razors

which I do not like,

"Do not know!"
"Trust no-one!"

And if you want
something done,

do it your damn self!

But do share my
bed, baby

why not.

"Gonna save my money,

and rip it up."

Thicker Last Night

In the bleak morning
Marrow anticipates winter

the body disengaged
from familiar warmth,

and the neighbors are
saying things like

"gonna find someone
to share my bed,
snow too cold,
the gas bill."

Bluish fingers
hold socks to the wall heater

dust ribbons,

and folks
step softly,


round their houses.

Thicker, last night,
than water.

than thieves. 

on the lam

dear, it is too scary, i have dreams. in my dreams i am not dealt the mercy blow. i crawl shamed with my forehead to the turf. i am very happy it's true. it feels like the mallet

to the temple, it feels like the envelope opener stuck in my great-uncle's heart. i have

an irrational fear of being convicted of a crime i did not commit. of being on the lam, of attempting to evade a bounty hunter with a Remington,

it feels this way.

Friday, September 21, 2012

maggie's farm

    There is something pushing at my paper edges. A sound. A girl. A sad little girl, a brown haired girl, a girl with a cigarette in her mouth and one eye closed to avoid its track of smoke. A waterfall got it backwards, got it upside down.
    We smoke in the house here; I will no longer address you as dear. But here, we favor lace, we favor black, we fill it up and air it out, and have continued in this way for some time. There’s an unapologetic bite in our sweet eyes, we call ourselves MADchen, and none of us oblige when told to smile. We tried to bake but have no butter, so we’re moving the record player. Shuffling things around the house provides purpose. We pretend we don’t believe in love because it treated us cruel, and then it did it again.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

i figured it out,
My Love, (cross that out,)
i figured it right out

you are just like
the dimethyl ether
in the dr's office.

a cold clear not water

so ephemeral
that you are gone

before you hit the ground.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

While sitting in Sizizis,
Olympia, Washington, 9/8/12.

You have cultivated your inherited hopelessness, to grow
like a warm knife through your back.

Only bitter tastes register, and love
is revolting.

Love, that sustenance from the
aged basin

is revolting.

you consume the
dust of nutmeg,

to lend a cold and static pulse

the cyanogenic pits of peaches,
tepid beer.

You would not like it here,
here where I am sitting.

You would not like the soft,
dark wood, the ceiling

of doorknobs.

It is not unkind,
not fraught with needles,

not a keening night terror.

There is little light
and minimal pain.

There is not room
for you to spread your limbs out wide,

and hate.

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