february 2009

rhapsody in e (for maddie)

in this ocean with its violent tides and crushing waves
i am my own universe, my arms & elbows planets
swirling at the speed of breath, far-flung
with clutched stars springing free of tight-furled fingers and oh,
i am spreading the sky myself.
eyes closed, i am the pollock of the heavens
(except comprehensible).

& my body the sun rocking back, rocking forth,
reinventing the big bang
each time my foot finds jarring purchase on the dirty floor
where over and over these new gods find their following,
crafting religions/creating faiths
from this amalgam of self-conscious shit-talkers
and soon-to-be alcoholics
but i am oblivious;

this pulse behind my lids,
these words on my lips,
this flush stealing my soul upward
till it coils in my mouth
and dews on my forehead and nose–

i am feeling my way through the dark,
the american kt tunstall.

in this ocean with its violent tides and crushing waves
i am the anti-michael phelps,
content to drift fluid through molecules and atoms
to whatever shore may gather me in its arms:
i am my own universe,
speeding toward shattering in bursts of bright light


ohplease, i need yesgodyes

my skin is redolent of you:
of soapy water splashing skeins of creamed coffee and
a touch of saffron satin,
scars slick with froth and steamed like car windows as your hands smoothed the angular planes
shaped the lines of my bones into yielding curves widening,
tightening and pulsing waves of feeling and unshed thoughts
toward your core (my core)

i remember.
i surrender.

tahitian vanilla: even its name says your face to me.
exotic, erotic, something new and uncharted
on the maps of our veins intertwined and the bliss bleeding through
to stain the water in flushing clouds
i inhale with closed eyes

i remember,
i surrender to sighs and dim lighting and dark ceilings
made phosphorescent by my wide eyes,

the taste of your fingertip between my teeth–
whorls of pleasure from your prints pressed to my tongue.

i remember.
i surrender,

my skin is redolent of you.
my pulse recalls your kiss in arcing lines and strangled cries, unraveling against blue porcelain over and over again

i remember.
i surrender.

i miss you

on top of the monumetal (a letter to jason)

you’re enough to make me hate everyone like you,
every doe-eyed master of minutiae,
the maestri of the moments– i could despise them all,
but none of them more than you.

i could hurt you- oh, god, i could hurt you for so many reasons–

the way your brow creases when you’re thinking,
the sound of your laughter
the darkness of your wise eyes–
your crooked smile,
the songs you wrote.

the way you encourage me when i know i suck at everything,
or your passion that i envy so violently–

or the adorable way that, oblivious to your attempts to flatten it all, your beautiful hair (dark like your eyes– i begged you not to cut it) always manages to wisp near the crown of your head
teasingly tousled, making a child of the man you fight so hard to be.

i keep your songs on my ipod.
(you were always looking for someone to do a duet with.)
i listen to you sometimes and i marvel at the way you can put these things together. i think,

fuck, he’s a genius

and i’m overcome by your brilliance– until i notice how bright the glare is in my eyes from such effulgence.


i wish i’d never realized i loved you,
because now i don’t know how to stop

and unrequited love is bullshit.
and you’d joke. you’d smile, say “make a poem about it”
but don’t you realize i’ve been trying all along and (this is proof) failing?


i would have sung with you, but this time
i think i’ll keep my mouth shut.


ten mountains arranged
over whorled valleys and hills;
your hands: unknown lands.

silver finger-things
disrobing shy new bodies,
your eyes: discerning.

my skin: uncharted
valleys, hills, brown flesh-plains
awaiting- something,

granted in your gaze.

these moments suspend,
time slowed to infant-like crawls-
on all fours, we move

together, like stars
prepared for fleeting freefalls-
toward what, we know not,

but this is where we want to be,
and so we are.