if we could one night in arms would you? to not call, do not, i want. copper tongue bitten. clumsy bird. undrown me. disengage. i whisper to red trees your reply unsent. postcard ripped, recycled. moths in my mouth dust and flutter. unchecked mood run wildly spilling itself in storm fields. chocolate instead of. every morning to bury you is strain. wipe mud hands on apron streaked. untying your too tight boots. almost half time. here’s the olive branch. bring your breaking voice back to my maple tree. hammer in the spigot. i, bearing syrup, plant myself and push forth with finger root. in a graveyard, white widow walking, every headstone: your name. spell me out a letter. i live here, in blue house, without lock on letterbox. number five. declare in child’s cursive your final plea. bees may die from stung skin but i swell and heal. and, not forsaking water which has choked, i swim out, past throbbing lighthouse, to let dark water rock me.
My ballerina ankle is trying to break. I want to heal but need pushing. I walk until water and would keep on if water could walk me. The mapmaker juggles shiny compasses. I pledge my life to True North. Even in the broken black night, I feel the throb of swaddled treasure. Vitruvian and hairless, you answer my prayers with a punch line. On the hardwood floor on your knees at my bedfoot with unbroken oversugared gaze in girls’ underwear. An amorous clown. Meanwhile, the magician in rags plays fiddle in the alley. When women dance a holy animal is born. Once the circle is drawn no masked men may enter. The pink crystal is alive and in pieces. Dance for the jagged edge. What is already shattered cannot be broken.
in a salt
Give me arms. I will run this whole thing. I have the hat for it. All terrestrial nations, I am addressing you. All inter-dimensional listeners, I am addressing you. My light is increasing. I am to rupture. All the demons will pour out of my laughing mouth with demons pouring out of their laughing mouths. For the son has been brought forth and no force can stop us. This is the lamb of the world we have made. Spare me some wool and some skin. Suffering is my birthright as a lamb. Unchain the buckets, pigblood prank raining on your white dress. Outside nothing is happening. The only movement is of bees, aimless, with exposed quivering stingers. My lunar organ is quietly humming. Soaping up we hope to be cleansed. Repeat the rinse. Hotter water. Removing mammalian golden hair with handled razors. Ah, the precious irritation of emergence. Sundry stimulants all blending into one ripe entry into that which is entering into us. To receive this cool blown air. We are blowing cool air out of our mouths in summer. We lay around on mattresses under open windows in denim shorts in the summer and the conversation is not so urgent then. Not like the bare limbed words of winter. The desperate eyes of forced wakefulness. The hibernating mammal cannot take this kind of slicing light. Let the lace doilies of snow fall on her burrow. Dreaming is constructive. We cross oceans and get touched. We lose everything in a swallowing storm. Dreaming is without the body so without fear. Only the dying body fears. Listen to me deeply but without worship. I am wise in gut but with green sapling trunk and just one winter’s worth of scars.
natalie goldberg prompt
Feminine bay. I’m too old. Blue stript famous city, sick of poetry, sweating good. Distracted my knuckles crack, stript, trying, poetry. This city sick name. Thin artist heater whose name is sick. Stay feminine on the machine. I am no good sweating now. Marine layer knuckled in this city for free, new heater not to distract. I am stript, sky blue old static guru. I want document of a feminine finger on the machine. Distract the bay. Kissing sweating city fingers. Font stript of an artist. Hot layer. Stay sweating. No good name, crack my trying to kissing writing. Heater is hot. The bay, this famous feminine guru. Thin fingers of this city sick me of the machine. An artist trying not to crack the thin fingers of marine layer stript. I keep whose name I want is hot, this trying too static, kissing feminine thin now I machine hot stript. Write sick, my hot stript guru city. I am the bay. Sweating, trying not to crack my knuckles.
I find myself angry and flattered
when I receive romantic gazes from strangers.
I’m an actor lacking emotional control,
splatter me on some canvas
and see red—
The buzzing electrical cabinet
turns my heart to static.
Detach my face and keep it
in a silver dish while I rearrange
my insides into a perfect replica
of a French Gothic cathedral.
And when my
I want you to be seated in my belly
and forgiving me.
I wear my mother’s sweater
and avoid eye contact
from snobby girls I once met confessing,
sharing cigarettes on the balcony
of my old complex.
On the third floor I see
a Korean nun in a trench coat,
while I’m pressed against the cold window
sucking air in through my thin lips,
picking dust out of my eyebrows,
and attempting to distract myself
from the fresh wound
It seems like just yesterday because it was. When you were eating greasy Chinese bacon buns and I sat watching an old woman with a skeletal lower lip grab the hand of someone else’s baby and shake it. Outside the ravens were picking apart a dead pigeon, laughing and tossing feathers to a weak wind. I keep thinking of your black hat with a circular brim, holding it down at the ocean with long fingers so it wouldn’t blow towards grey water. Last year on Valentine’s Day you painted flowers and the beach sand stuck to our cheeks like love notes written in braille. Sometimes I wish I was blind so I could read sounds without distraction from the bright lights and the concrete and the screen with pictures of you eating pancakes in your blue sweater. Search engine, can I ask you a question? Do you ever tire of the constant pressure? Expected to know how and dress for the weather. Googling symptoms doesn’t make me feel better. I’m a broken reed instrument with a lazy blower. In the park after rain parked car wheels sink into water. I try to hide behind a tree and cry but mothers and fathers keep passing with children strapped to their chests. I can’t tell if this is a joke or a test. I put two quarters in the mouth of a mechanical wizard, he laughs and spits out a blank piece of paper. Tell me, what do you see when you look at the water? Everything dies, I am reminded constantly. Drowning an imaginary bird in the fountain of your bedroom, our bodies shook and the rain washed city filth into gutters. Now I’m watching the window, waiting for a message. My only certainty is the weight of my body and its rhythms. So tell me, what does it mean when we drown our hearts in quiet pastel dreams? Is grief the water we must swallow? Limbs ripped from trees, splintered insides left behind, dead weight strangled like an isolated cancer. The doctor’s fingers are eager. I’m stretched out on the table. But there are moments when I get lost in the sand grains of time. I try to break this figure eight shaped container but I sense this falling is a part of something bigger. So I will let go and let gravity be my mother, pull me into her underground cavern and show me her treasures. But still in a cold bed before sunrise, your lyrics linger and I wake up sweating remembering your pink slender fingers.
stream of consciousness
lately the floor’s been falling away & i find i’m rushing through blackness, a waterfall to greet still water and churn it to froth; i want to splash into what’s quiet, want to wake that sleeping body up and out of the softness into the close sharp sound of color, into the soil, that thick wet root smell. i lay in the grass and let the sun take me and turn me into something spreading apart, pink skin, freckles, the press of lips, the press of light, i twirl and twirl and flex and bend, undress and dance for my own reflection, silver nails and sore muscles, clean hair glistening spider threads to be tugged on, the body to be pressed into the earth, the body as a chamber to be filled, the name as a jar, the pleasure is milk cold overflowing spreading out across the table and dripping to the floor making canyons out of cracks and filling them with rivers. i am chewing my fingers to stay grounded and the rest of me is pouring out in an inexhaustible torrent of rich thick wetness, the jaw hangs lax and lets it fall to fill and overflow that eager basin beneath.
put your hand
over your mouth
and hold it there
until you stop kicking
until you stop fighting
until you go limp.
you must burn that battered body
it was dead long before you found it.
you must go to the ocean
and wash your hands of the ashes.
this won’t be the last time
you must kill yourself
how to live.