Category Archives: Poetry

I will ruin myself against you

I used to be upstanding, outstanding

Hip, cool, a cracking whip
struck low by a half-pint chanteuse
in a polka dot dress and cherry red lipstick
A dime store clerk in a $20 dress
stressed for success
She hangs her head, convinced of a failure
of an intention not begun
An intention still born, dead

I will ruin myself against you
I will drag myself through filth
I will slay a dragon for you
I will give you all my wealth

My walls will tumble through you
my walls will tumble down
like soldiers standing at attention
for so long they fell asleep, they fell down

I want to cut our connection
I want to get past you
But I’m convinced the only way to escape
is to drive this truck on through you

Terrified of a half-pint girl in a $20 dress
in 10 years she’ll be blistered
by one too many of everything
convinced of her vulnerable invulnerability
Onto the next one month, one week, and one night stand

She just wants someone to hold her
to make the shaking stop
to make her feel like she’s something other
than someone’s else’s conquest, someone’s else’s notch
I will ruin myself against you
I will drag my tongue on through
I will lay this line down for you
I will fight all those who cross

My walls will tumble through you
my walls will crash down
like soldiers standing at attention
until they all fall down

And you ask me what are my intentions
as if all my intentions were bad
and I say, ‘Don’t treat me like that
We’ve come too far for you to treat me like that’
And I stumble blindly with my heart in my hands
My heart shredded and maimed
from one to many beatings and one night stands
My savage heart is beaten, my savage heart is tamed
And you a nymphet with agile hands
blindfold and lead me to the killing ground
an abbreviated ending to an exaggerated life
kneel me down, cut off these rude hands
And there you are, having one too many of everything
And here I am asleep
listening to my fading heart beat
Looking in opposite directions, you to the future, I to the past
and falling asleep.

Goodbye to good riddance
Goodbye to foreign lands
Goodbye to chastity and one night stands
Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye
I will ruin myself against you
I will drag the bodies away
I will slay a nightmare for you
I will drain my health away
I will cry your tears
I will take your blows
I will sing your song
I will crown you queen
I will tuck you in
I will caress your skin
I will taste your tongue
I will heal your hurts
I will give you shelter
I will lay you Lo
I will carry you to heaven
I will carry you in my arms

I will run forever
I will run forever
I will run till you tell me to stop

Java Me Darkly

Java me darkly, my darling
Java me darkly, my love
Odin’s sperm I soak
Satan’s spawn I sip
Strangling struggling anima
into buckets brimming brine

I face down this Cerberus and his three heads
Sleeplessness, Anxiety, and I-I-I forget
What mysteries do you hold?
One sip and then?
I dive into your muddy waters
Sweetened with kisses, bitter with regret
I’m waiting for the downfall
the freefall with no ripcord
the jitters, the shakes
I drink you, but you dr-i-i-ve me
And I no wanna come down

1 Cup
Not perked, but dripped
Not gulped, but sipped
Straight up, black, liquid shadow
Hotter than the tropics, sweaty, forbidden

2 Cup
Cream in it, could you cream in it?
Mmm, yumm
Sugar if you please
I like my coffee lumpy

3 Cup
Now I’m in for it
My head burns, my throat burns, my groin…
I can see in the dark!
Every word I write is inspired
Every word I speak a gem.

4 Cup
I count the cracks in the ceiling
the jumping sheep are LONG gone
leg of lamb, rack of lamb with mint jelly
lamb CHOP lamb CHOP lamb CHOP
(This would all be very funny if I didn’t have to
get up at 6 a.m.)

5 Cup
I see my landlord
rent is due
I scream,”How much do you want!”
(make “chop” motions to wrist, elbow, shoulder)
“Whole ting, gotta come off.”

6 Cup
I have a vision:

A man is standing in front of a microphone, ‘This
called “Rain and Coffee”.

White walls drain the night away
like coffee pushing fatigue for later
I’m sweetened with memories of kisses
bitter with choices, with refusals
hard driving in search of blue in the nightmare
Can’t drive forever, thoughts of you not
A truckload of cheap fixes, mother’s milk
mainlining the legal alienation
the only thing – the rush, the false feeling that//
love used to give
a faux caress, putting nerves like coins, on edge
And she rubs my shoulders while telling me

This is it, this is the last time

her smooth thighs on either side
and I’m driving, driving, driving///

I say I love you to the swirling black
adding powdered white to soften the blow
of the pounding rain.’

How much do you want?
Whole thing, gotta come off.

7 Cup
(Traffic noises distorted by Doppler)

8 Cup
You will never sleep again
You’ve forgotten to forget
Can you help me?
I need help.

9 Cup
Every nerve like bare electric wires
like bare aborigines dancing
like barren deserts, hot and dry
like memories you can’t bear
like the scream you can barely contain
like teeth bared
like you, barely hanging on
like 18 wheelers bearing down, bearing down,
bearing down on you!

Shut Up! Let him sing.

Java me darkly my darling
Java me darkly, my love
Java me darkly my darling
Java me darkly, my love.



The walls you have built will not protect
your precious cargo
when will you discover
The walls that separate can tumble?
History laughs at permanence

Scale the walls you built so carefully
That both protect and isolate
Dismantled by nameless heroes
their heavy hands

Cripple your will
Let me in
Can you not see
Your fate
Written in star sign?
Writ in blood?

Quantify what brought you this:
Arrogance, vainglory and more?
We are committed
‘gainst our will
To retrieve what will
ultimately be ours
We soldiers of middling rank
prefer easier spoils than to
despoil the best Greece can offer
Her shining crown

Take what can’t be taken
Riven permanence
Squandered embankment of
Will, strength and more
‘gainst enemies external
and now internal
Who betrayed who?

We, the nameless, are here
not to destroy
but to liberate

Hear me, my words hold magic
I spin your future and this Truth:
Your wall will fall

What castle walls must I scale,
What armies must I defeat
To stand before you
And prove your mortality
Your fragility, your fragile humanity
A flickering flame in the wind

Send the best of your heroes
Whose names writ in starlight formations
for future generations to memorialize
of those trod under the hoof of might and right

Send us walls to dismantle, brick by brick
We of no name eat your future
Digest stone
Spit that which you believe is owned entire: we tutor in absolutes


I wrap this package
in brilliantine and tears
ovum entrusted in your care
seahorse gentlemen gestate

burst premature
all the dying fetuses
fail to migrate home

secrets, trust
comfort, solemn vows

where in this debris
is your name written?
owning this disaster
I have entrusted
which is my life?

by what right did you think
you could abuse
the internal workings
of my brilliantly lit interior?
lights out, no one home

How could you have failed
so spectacularly
and with so little thought?
and how could I have entrusted
this fragile thing
with someone so untrustworthy?

I trundle my guts in carts
I walk in spite of my stumps
I am happy now

Please, do not break my hands
they are all I have
my beautiful hands.





Sorry to have bothered you…
but I was lost and you were no help.
I thought you knew where I was going,
you said you did, but you lied.
But how could I rely on that?
I didn’t even know where I was going myself.
You told me “go thataway and when you get there, take a left.”
Little did I know you held true north inside you.
You could have just said, “follow me.”
I would have, anywhere!
but I didn’t have the courage, and waited too long for an invitation.

I just stood there, seeing you fade,
from a question mark, thinning to an exclamation point,
finally reduced to a period.
I wept when you disappeared from sight, our dialogue becoming a monologue.
You could have left me a map, or a trail of breadcrumbs,
something, anything, you fucker.
But here I am, lost as ever.

How do you expect me to follow?
I will wander here in this desolate wilderness,
not even a parenthetical to comfort me.
I grasp at any depression hinting of your footsteps,
but they are as elusive as the mirage on the horizon.
All I can do is take step after leaden step,
hoping to get to wherever I am going.
But there is hope: you can find me.
I will send smoke signals:
Meet me – MEET ME
…and I will explore you
wherever you go
from the top of your head
to the tip of your toes

I have no map
but you are my terrain
and I am no longer lost.

Time Squared

Vowed to not write of torturous things
had enough of paths leading nowhere
Liking \ not knowing \ not caring \ if I love you

kick me to the ghetto curb: rockstar
A lesson in knowing my place
stop reaching for the stars
walk on baby, walk on feet of clay

fair skin clothing, thumbprint
firmly placed leaves impression
kind of skin you spank
leave marks
you thought
offering the leather slipper
was a tad extravagant
after second dates
after goodnight kisses,
after goodnight makeout sessions
after tip-tongue imbroglio,
after intercontinental tongulingus
that, or
the roundtrip ticket to NYC
room over-licking Times Square
rough sex, no regrets
That \ to me \ was extravagance
guess I just lose it, pop the cork
dodge the jet
(give you something you’ll regret)
and I know quality when I taste it
Driven to drink,
teetotaling for 10 years
try to keep up,
dig this grave
try to get to the other side
And all the king’s blind men
spandau balleting the trees
could not see the forest for the bees
what will sting, make them shudder
make them laugh and think it’s funny
crying sugary tears of honey
Detached \ to be unattached \ unafraid of
what future becomes what present
with or without you
I’m too wise old to be shattered
hold myself close though fractured
wrapped by sinews, spit and hatred
not destined for “True Love” I’ma guessing
The kind that moviestars, supermodels and rockstars a-gettin’
“True Love”
Like the tune: “just gimme what I ain’t not got”
like credit card travel, Times Square, and I-I-I forgettin’
Oh yeah: rough sex, no regrets.
gimme dat kiss, dat memory
look down \ my lips \ say goodbye
{kick me to the ghetto curb near bye}
Forget fantasy, false memory: hotel rooms, rough sex, no regrets
kick me to the ghetto curb
what do you bet?
bet athousand years, athousand tears
a spanking on the bottom to make you cry
another useless lullaby…

The Day I Woke Up


I am real, I obstruct, I cast shadows
3 o-clock I melt
4 o-clock grow like vines
5 o-clock tower like tree,s like mountains, like your father

She says, I am not your amanuensis, your ingenue, your lover
She says, eyes like quarters thrown into a furnace
Blau augen, I say
What? she says
Blue eyes, I say
Oh, she says, you’re not listening
Listen she says, these eyes are disposable
Everyone is disposable
Death is simply…a redistribution of matter

No, I say, when I leave here
I take a part of you with me
in remembrance, I put you in my little room upstairs
And I do// whatever// I want// to do.


I am real, I obstruct, I cast shadows
3 o-clock I melt
4 o-clock grow like vines
5 o-clock tower like trees, like mountains, like the earth rushing at you when you fall

staring at the clouds, flat on your back
Faces asking, “What’s your name?”
” Do you know where you live?”
” What’s your number?”


I say I am what I’m called
I live where I breathe
I take up space, I displace
The water rises when I sink
I know I’m alive when I wake, when I shake,
When I blink.

I was seeing another man’s girl
she would not agree
with that she is her own girl
her own Woman.

I dreamt that she and I moved in, together
in a small bedroom apartment, Underground
You saw your former boyfriend,
but told me you didn’t
but you were lying
and I knew it

So we moved to Moab
made a baby and had a garden
You’d buy some Guinness and
I’d make some pasta because
You couldn’t cook worth a damn
And we’d eat it and drink it
and make love in it
and I was happy

until I woke up

I still remember your parting shot, a postcard with the line: “I love the false image I had of you…”
Oooooh…(and this is how I feel)

I am this infidel, this smoke
BURN this need to cancel
I am this smoke, I get in your eyes
make you cry, baby

To the job you hate, I am the words: I quit
(and the Greyhound ticket a week later to the coast)
I am your recapitulation
when you hear your lover’s voice
on the machine say, “I’m sorry, I’m so-so- sorry.”
I am the absence of absence
I am that next to last drink
I am the moment you ask someone out
rejecting expectance
expecting rejection

I am the lit match to tinder
I am the clouds friction, bringing storms
I am the glance up, the locking eyes
I am that turn on the mountain road
leading to a turnover, witnessed by trees
I am the sound of the turning of the key
When your lover comes in after midnight
I am the question in your mind, wanting to ask, “Where’ve you been?”
never asking, pretending to sleep
I am the nightmare shaking, dawn breaking
I am your lover’s voice saying, “Wake up.”



The lucid dreaming of driving
the headlights burn tunnels, stare holes like Superman into the night
the Venturi effect inhales the car
the night closes behind like a fist

Eat My Exhaustion

I am going where the figurative becomes literal
Replacing opium dreams with black leather hallucinations
The Emerald City – St. Francis, the City of

Beaten on a breakup night
My future ex-girlfriend nurses the department store dummy back to health
even though she doesn’t recognize me
in my purple and black make-up
– the Past

– Flash forward to the present –
She smiles as if the Yesterday
were nothing but gumdrops and dandelion wine
as if she weren’t unhappily married to a high-wire rigger in a three-ring family circus.

She says she fuck me for nostalgia’s sake
(Who the fuck’s Nostalgia?)
If we could find an empty room
and I search around desperate, but there’s no time
She kisses me and says, “I love you. I love you. I love you,” but there’s no time, and she says, “I hate goodbyes,”
and I’m getting ahead of myself again.

Sand in a leaky hourglass
My life drains from me like///
blood in the face of a man who
is told his seed is worthless, his son is dead
the blood collects in his heart like a chalice
to steel it against the coming nostalgia
Nostalgia so ephemeral, becomes solid
HITS him like a rock
and he sways on his feet like a punch-drunk boxer
who doesn’t know he’s knocked out
swaying like an overweight transvestite hula dancer
in a rundown downtown bar

remember: the head is useless
the heart – priceless

St. Francis is lit like a Christmas tree
on a Sausalito ferry ridden at midnight

I say to my future ex-friend who’s a girl, but not a girlfriend
I say, “I’ve traveled 1,000 miles to see you – Farewells
should be said face-to-face, close enough to
smell your anger and taste your last goodbye
and see our friendship fade like a burnt cigarette butt
flicked off a third-story balcony
or headlights burning tunnels into the night
our goodbyes closing behind us like a fist.”

Like faulkner’s palms will you be my Rememberer?
crushing cyanide tablets against jailhouse walls
consigned to sucking dick in memory of me?

I have fantasies of slicing my left pinkie off
and handing it to you (This is how much I care)
meaning as much and as little as
the head of John the Baptist to Salome
-but not the writing hand committing the sin of Onan
(even you are not worth that much)

I leave you St. Francis – never liked you anyway
You’re the cum spat on the sidewalk from a 20$ trick
and I hate you.

Your a woman from the high plateaus on a trapeze built for 2
and I love you.

You’re the friendship I left bleeding on the street
and I could care less.

Yeah, let’s fuck nostalgia
but there’s no time
and I’m getting ahead of myself again.



A hopeful return
red lips and a whisper
a light touch to the side of my face
You, a tight bodied wonder with cascading hair
Entered our world and turned it
like the cake, upside down

You had every man’s attention
you and your coterie of girls
but you were the cherry at the center
a musical gift, a violent violinist
a match made in Hoboken
strike it and it burns

Playing music at a wedding I did not want to be a part of
(who would miss the groom?)
my doubts as I looked at you
a wonder in a smart dress
your talent and your heart
a figment a fracture broke me apart

I never thought I’d see you again
a sweetheart proposal
an anticipation, a promise unfulfilled
intimidated by your artistry
I should have heeded the warning signs:
Merge ahead!
Denial ahead!
Take the wheel and swerve!

But I went ahead and sometimes I look back
on those next five years and feel like my life was on hold
our separation freed me
and like a crisis at midpoint
I rediscovered my youth,
my craziness, my drunkiness
when our lips touched

Asking you up, you refuse
but as I left you spun me around
and planted one, wet, right where it counts
and seven years later it still burns
no wonder lipstick’s the color of flames.


Maintain the keystone
A rough cloth wiped on engraved rock
Build this house on midnight rides
and suicide

sylvia plath’s roommate
tried to check-out
tried to buy her way to a sensible world
with no-nonsense lead weights
52 white and round
-the menu for lunch
For dinner, they serve charcoal shakes
service in bed, and made her check-in.

Wipe the monolith that make skyscrapers dizzy
Drag the cloth, and pray for rain.

I tell time by the shadows
turning on the sundial of her face
Her expression scatters darkness, stops time
I put a quarter in my palm and say
tap it three times (hold out fist palm down)
One, two, three (open fist, and show that it’s empty)
She says, “I’ve got a better trick.”

The flowers wilt in the noontime sun
shaded by granite shadows

I talk to you, but there’s no answer
I carry you in my arms
I become your nonexistent legs
and you, you are the wind that makes even the mountains cower.
I carry you and stagger
1 step, each day for the rest of my life
Can you count the cracks in the sidewalk?
How many seconds have passed since you were born?
Do you remember the first time you fell down,
the last time you woke up screaming?
(It’s just a dream, go back to sleep)

I carry you and stagger
each step and then?
I walk and count each wave that crashes on the shore
I count each heartbeat since the day I was born:
(hold fist out, palm down, and count) 1, 2…