algebra poem

outside, rocks sling themselves against the window;
a siren calls, and somewhere in this building
there’s the faint nasal grunt of an alarm–
but here in this empty classroom
under the thunder,
i am immeasurably calm, gripping my camera
imagining lange,
channeling a baby bukowski in this algebraic stormwomb;
i am happy.



in the night, we are no longer divisions
of state lines and startled consciousness,
undone by understandings irrevocably inverted
or speaking silliness into curved shells worn shiny
with the grating caress of everything unsaid

we are no longer differences in anatomy
or name, not new england or the southeast
not long i’s curved like boomerangs to slice back
into speakers’ mouths or careful calculations of syllables
interspersed with nineteen-something vernacular;

undone knot by tense knot
to fall loose, soft, silent
into a single pile of nerves and fibers
we are the collected sounds of sleepy murmurs
and teeth set hard against orgasms
that split early morning into ions,

of queerly caught breath and uncontrolled giggles
and accents twisted in and out of coasts and landlocks

old histories, new clarities and tongue-tripping nothings
strung together in the gentle necklace which adorns
the proud throat of warbling night,

we are only our maybe,
our could be,
our is–

i like it this way

die hard

he came as a shock
under the setting of the sun,
a backwards green mario cap
and all the old jokes, the same smile
the usual flash-fire raised along my spine
in flawless remembrance.

the sex came as a surprise
and even though i bear impressions of his teeth
reliefs artists might shiver for
while dentists clamored with fists of fifties,
even though miniature knives pierced my labia
when i pissed not thirty minutes ago
(he is always so rough, he tears me i am sure)
i am still not sure i wasn’t dreaming.

before my shower, my skin carried his scent;
i did not want to be clean, but compulsions are demanding
and so i scalded his sex, his teeth
and his memory from my flesh with guilty pleasure.

he is home again and his lungs are caving in
as here in my living room i blow, frantic,
on the embers of his memory
and write a poem to hasten the flame.

food for thought

if it were as obvious to the ubiquious ‘them’
as i like to think it is to myself, all these stories
these songs
these furies and fervors of gorgeous living
scrawled in tiny print on those lines
cut into the sides of your grin,
i wonder

would i like you as much?

if i did not think myself the only dancer
to the rhythm of your existence

would i like you as much?

the hum of so much butter-pecan rough silk
over pink tendon and hard white bone
and knobs of knuckle clenched around necks
of guitars and women: would i hear it so well
or listen so hard for it

if i did not fancy myself your only audience,

it is like cinderella’s mother-in-law once posed:

are you the tortured beauty because i want you to be–
or do i want you because you live at all,

and who can tell?

keep me where you are

plastic crystal mugs imitating tender glass
gleam silvery in six a.m. gray, dove-colors
and silk sound on the table

on the floor, we’re curled into each other
and it’s cold beneath our asses
warm around our hearts and arms, inside the blanket
i insist on dragging everywhere
because i’m still so much a child–

both of us with paper and pen, because we’re writers
and half-naked because we’re lovers
in between words (priorities, my love, we must have them):

you and me and early day loving,
classical music tiptoeing around the nest of us here,
it’s wonderful.

keep me where you are.

bedtime story

once upon a time
my mother worried
and worried
and worried and

she felt guilty
she was seventeen
he lied and
now her father stopped speaking

the guilt and worry
the anger the fear confusion
the lost-ness knotted together

it grew and grew
and then
watered by wondering
waiting and
a bit of hope,

the ball fell out of her womb
and became me.