this feeling is rising inside me like helium affecting my speech my breathing I think it’s gone to my brain contagious your laughter as I rise, I take you with me if only by the pinky and our weightlessness propels us to lift off the surface toes kissing the earth and for a moment we hang in transcendent exuberance like artwork above their heads our every movement entrancing until one of us...
the mirror appeared dirty, like lost beach trash cracked and forgotten with the sand it once was clinging to its face in mockery. But the mirror was clean, rather it was my own face cracked and dirty that appeared lost and myself forgotten.
A Sheep in Poet's Clothing
indulge the slow, silent assassination of success masqueraded as transcendental depth acknowledge failure to celebrate deviance; aggrandize shortcomings to find laziness defiant in the amber light of poetry even justification looks sexy like the emaciated body of the wanna-be model an almost admirable pity a sheep in poet’s clothing listens to plebs discuss bad art with shallow diction as if,...
I’m sitting on the floor staring at colored blocks numbered 1 through 22, and another one, blue, onto which I’m scrawling 23 in big bold sharpie. I pause and raise my head to peek into the big bin of unnumbered blocks that still await me. Daunting. The bright primary colors that surround me do nothing but accent the absurdity, and I laugh to myself at how pointless, and yet how enjoyable,...
The ceiling is caving at a constant rate and my screams cannot reverse it. Survival instinct alone cannot concoct a silver lining, or silver bullet. I am wearing failure like a party hat and in dreams my friends become angry clowns publicizing my humiliation, tearing off my nose to reveal a worm; the fraudulent parasidic corpse. I’ve been clinging to the rug beneathe me for fear of looking...
How, now, can I write in the harsh light of specificity when even pen on paper seems violent how can I be calmed by the buzz of the amplifier with you tapping at the back of my mind your laugh like a splinter and your shadow on the moon if I had time, I would have said I was sorry if I had time, I might even have stayed if I could swim in your eyes like jacuzzis I’d wait until...
Your Porcelain Outline
your porcelain outline against the baby blue sky burned the moment onto the back of my eye outside of time, and now if you turn out the lights I’ll see your negative image motioning closer breathing in that you want this but our eyes become stop signs in a stalemate intersection where neither of us can move and perhaps the beauty is that when the time isn’t right we can...
This black liquid is so deeply suppressed I feel it leaking from my fingernails as I dig them into the desk trying desperately to get a grip on why my cravings are endless and without outlet. Will the feeling ever subside? The obsessive yearning for the next best fix to a nameless addiction. Am I a mad dog let loose in the forest with only a scent to guide me? along with a...
Break my measuring stick. I want to feel tall. Hold on to my memories for a minute, I need to put on my façade. How many calories is that? Hold on. Let me take my eyes out before I return your call. Know your role. Did you see the game last night? Check your stock price. What is our business tragedy? Clever logo. Cluttered Legos. It’s all the same to me. Painful to my toes. Sneak a dream at the...
The pen isn’t mightier than the sword. It’s just more immediate. More modern. Swords are messy; heavy. Too real and made of steel. Pens are so common they blend into the background. We forget about them. Forget when we sign on the dotted line that the sword is implied. Hidden behind bars.
Why is it always the forbidden fruit that’s 50% off and tumbles to the floor as I walk by? When your clothes are 50% off you’re pretty hard to ignore. Didn’t I tell you? I live in two separate worlds and there’s a strict anti-immigration policy I need to adhere to. Yes, here too.
Hell Has Tourists
Everyone blames their problems on the weather They think moving will cure their pain Hell has tourists Visiting for a three week stay They don’t see us tormented in paradise At the edge of the world with nothing left to see
She insists she take the wheel needs music she can sing to and her voice becomes the taste I spit into the sink. Blood with mint. Did I bite my tongue as you began to steer? What am I doing here? Submerging emotions in the boiling bath water. Evaporating patience, shaking to the cadence of our slow decrescendo. I tried to be an open book ripping out the pages you didn’t like. Now I’m only...
From a Distance
From a distance every song is snare drum and high note. From a distance you could’ve been anyone. If we weren’t so wired to map faces, we might have exchanged glances rather than glares, might have shared an elevator instead of hiding in the stairwell waiting for our rose colored glasses. From a distance you looked like you were smiling, or maybe shed a tear, knowing you...
**This is a series of short poems I wrote on a piece of construction paper during my friends art show at the Brass Rail that I then folded into a paper airplane. Some of the effect of the original medium is lost here. They are all improvised and unedited** THEY WILL NEVER FIND YOU AT THE CREVICE OF A PAPER AIRPLANE YOU MADE IN 6TH GRADE… —-...
Voice In Your Head
it’s the voice in your head telling you to get up it’s the other voice in your head telling you the phrase “voice in your head” is trite and overused and as that voice makes a mental note never to use that phrase in a poem another voices pipes up in the back shouting “who cares. we die. success is an arbitrary measure of our finitude.” but now that first...
her beauty is the brutal average of approved facial themes her words: a brown salad of pedestrian metaphor tossed by a dry tongue her vapid eyes resound with the cold rattle of pipe organ neurons which exist solely to provide plastic wrap to her deafening pitches yet, her allure is the universal common denominator among men; unquestionably adequate regrettably sufficient a...
If everything stopped moving would Time continue on without us or does it politely wait to begin again, urging us forward with a steady hand? Or maybe it fell behind long ago and gave up the journey. And we neglected to notice our movement is unguided. We’ve programmed our clocks to project where Time should be by now but he is taking a nap realizing we have no real use for...
I hung up the phone and felt subtraction. Muted panic like falling off a kindergarten slide unable to gasp for air. Confronting my numbness I stumbled to a chair and stared greyly. My world had changed. But it came with no indication. No warning. No reassuring monologue to learn from. Just lack. Lack of words to say on that long silent walk through impossible pinks and greens to a small...
Her signals were ambiguous like yellow light but I was too close to slow down To discuss distance in terms of time lost “How Californian,” she interjected, like a freeway car cutting me off Popularity is measured by traffic in a democracy of congestion honking only announces futility Capitalism is a candy heart that says Be Mine a burst of sugary possession for a lifetime of rotting teeth What...
Two Types of People
As I traverse my subjective Mobius strip I see Two types of people on either side of me The first drown searching the depths for Atlantis, their breakfast consists of a bowl of shrooms and a religious experience, and their walls are a mosaic of symbolic memorabilia, music or deities that no one's ever heard of Congregation is a common behavior among these cloud-folk whether it be in a cathedral...
Back on Campus
Maturity is a strange creature part grizzly, part bullfrog that hides and hibernates for years, and then leaps forward with a growl or a croak Who are these scampering backpacks? These giggling nomads with eyes darting in all directions? To think, how much I cared what they thought how little I care now how trivial time feels when two weeks seems like more than five years And yet, nothing...
Hot Jazz on a Dark Sky
Correct my wretchedness with falling notes from piano keys in the sky let the trumpet blow my mind and free me to write a poem so jazzed it’s got no perception of daily motion no correct punctuation except additional tablature scrawled on the side of a bus down the street from all we see. Today the shadows play we dance in tune with the rain our limbs flop like jellyfish and the walking sticks...
A Sour Green
a sour green and two stools funny how memory condenses so trivially little remains of the dialogue but the aftermath is explosive
Map of Aphrodite
Can we admit, as men, that we never loved a single woman as much as the idea of Woman? Can we acknowledge openly that the greatest tragedy of our lives has been waking up next to our own disappointment and rising to meet our own eyes in the mirror has been our greatest joy? Can I take a thousand moments and string them together into a map of Aphrodite, traverse across a hundred shades of skin,...
Ripe for the Smashing
Ah, now I remember the hidden hatred, the jagged frustration at the lump of stranger in my bed. Now I recall throwing the spoon against the wall, watching my reflection bounce back into a mouthful of rage. Now I remember sneaking out of the room while you were asleep just to have a few thoughts of my own, to breathe my own air, and not be suffocated with my own shortcomings. We see the path yet...
Last Day of College
You imagine it to be like a fireworks show a giant crescendo with a bang at the end or the turning of the last crisp page in a thick novel you’ve become so attached to But it reminds me more of the quiet trickle of stream water joining a wide open lake and the exhalation after a long day before getting up to prepare dinner Some would have you believe it’s the height of the cannonball before...
“Every choice you make splits your life, like a tree branch, into different realities,” he explained as he loaded the third bullet into the revolver. “The universe I inhabit is purely subjective, and I will never experience my own death”. He gave the cylinder a spin and snapped it into place. “If we are to accept the theory of parallel universes, then we must embrace our subjective...
a beautiful shell I injected with meaning I held you to my ear and heard ocean a hollow tone comforting yet forboding a unique souvenir among sandy billions but now as I cast you out toward vast salty seas the wind refuses whispering the timeless tale of the lonely crustacean
My font is too large and my life is too absurd if I kept every word you’d never listen to me I feel a change coming on but right now I need to strut down a long narrow street to a beat I’d never let the aliens observe as I march to a different drum machine the kind that we’ve all seen behind the scenes the kind we want our kids to be when we grow up we’ll all be there to start new wars and feed...
Twenty Second Birthday
Will I remember the iced white chocolate mocha with an extra shot of espresso Or the subject of the spanish news article I printed off at the library that morning Perhaps the rivoting lecture on general equilibrium in a closed market system And the celebratory sushi dinner to mark yet another revolution of the sun No, in fact, I have almost forgotten already As if I awoke this morning an old...
We waited after school on a Monday not knowing who would pick us up. Back in those days our pants had patches and the only thing we looked forward to was playing handball in a back alley. That is, until we lost our only ball. It had been found in the dumpster anyway, like all the good stuff was. But our elementary school minds didn’t contemplate the process by which their trash became our...
I wonder if the first man to speak laughed afterwards at the sheer absurdity, as he extended his index finger toward the rock and repeated the same gutteral noise. If he did not laugh at himself, he surely must have found humor in his fellow cavedwellers struggling to recreate his performance. And even once the pronunciation had been mastered, one last laugh must have been had at the expense of...
Big White Wall
I took a big white wall and painted it black hacked it to pieces with an axe and never looked back. Art's not creation; it's destruction, corruption of the pre-existing assumption that we function for consumption.
the best memories are the ones left that way
it’s been awhile, old friend since then my time has turned to dollar signs lines on my face have sunken deeper in my skin, my bones are weaker, and days seem to peter before they begin Yet, my clothes fit better this dusty sweater tucked inside the cabinet doesn’t bother my sense of pleasure like it had back then, and cold weather is excuse enough to stay in and light a fire
You see that light in the distance? I think it’s a traffic light. It’s green now. It’ll turn yellow, then red. Why can’t life be that easy? Stop. Go. Slow down. Instead we navigate a world of ambiguous signs and take our cues at the wrong times, causing head-on collisions with people just as lost as we are. And it hurts. All this crashing, it’s painful. I was starting to think it wasn’t...
Frost, you’ve left no options I see only two roads ruined to take the road less traveled do I take the road that you did? if your moral’s not to follow then you’ve cursed it with your footsteps which path have you left empty? genuine rebellion
the ringing in our ears is the last scream of...
like Zeno I stumble halfway there unable to shatter the glass I inhabit language, a question between swinging doors neither quite empty, nor fully suspended the answer is clearly none of the above but that is the option remaining unspoken my brain like a globe splits in hemispheres each side that I’m taking is merely my own
and I have been here before
Happiness Is The Crutch Making Your Arm Go Numb
were you sleeping on my shoulder? pin pricks tingle like waking to a lover forgetful of attachments initial disassociation fades into transcendent disembodiment teeth escape from lips at first you stumbled like a marionette ready to dance smile sagging from painted eyes one translucent tear hovered contemplating the distance down then tumbled from cheek to floor outstretched cup of a homeless...
there used to be a mirror hanging in the bathroom each day I would shower and wait for the fog to clear watching my eyes appear one day older until I learned that mirrors were unfashionable girls used them to cover their faces while I was craving what was within them searching eyes for recognition that seemed fleeting but soon I was taught to resent imperfection no one has mirrors in their...
explore emotional landscapes between natural human pieces
if I had a nickel for every fallen angel, I would be five cents short of buying my salvation, the silver lining is that nickel is relatively common material, with a bit of luck I might find one with her head facing upward, waiting for that certain someone to make an effort to bend over and pick her up
Various Hues of Blue
five light bulbs warm my back I wanted to say you remind me of but it’s not something from my past you’re like a familiar future you sway with the blueprints of those guitars in Picasso paintings hanging on the walls of my imaginary Chicago loft or the groove of the jazzman with the upright bass in the dark club late at night who plays simply because he always has and the blue light is all that...
poetry has no rules only guidelines, no guidelines only choices but choices cannot be made freely, they're determined by reading other poetry, great writing is great reading, mockery is great flattery, but flattery is dead, poetry is god, too many people quote Nietzsche for him to be taken seriously, but seriously, don't write poetry unless poetry writes you, asking for a recommendation only then...
Whisper Small Talk (Version II)
I whisper small talk amid heat tell me how you’ve never seen this movie how too many crowded bodies overwhelm plot complexities we’re not really talking about the movie anyway if you’d just kiss me my eyes wouldn’t have to shout so loudly this iced coffee isn’t helping my neurons are firing, or rather – searching for retreat in drops of sweat if I walk outside, will you honor my suggestion? or...
We Whisper Small Talk
we whisper small talk amid the heat too many crowded bodies overwhelm the movie, but we’re not really talking about the movie now are we when I say, “I’ve never seen this movie” I really mean, “kiss me” and when she says “it’s okay, if you like that kind of thing” her eyes are shouting, “take me somewhere I haven’t been” the iced coffee isn’t helping my neurons are firing, searching...
One hundred and sixty characters, you know ive memorized each one! That semi-colon and parenthesis you sent me made my heart jump; the period made it stop dead.