From poetry

O, Cinnamon

You call to me in malls, those Cinnabon kiosks that exhale the sienna spice essence of you baked and glazed with azúcar. I shake you on my Starbucks latte, watch you fall on the foam like ginger snow. Who knew you came from Ceylon, or that you were used in the embalm- ing of Egyptian…

Wood for Axes

The sap runs slick and red; it wets their axeheads, cutting the air with notes of salted copper. The lumberjacks are brothers, as is required. One is named Jack, as is coincidence. Scab-crack petals open to the night—full moon lights a full bloom. Clouds of black-chalk pollen make Jack sneeze, and whisper to his brother…

Winter darkening, waiting

Midnight owled past on a cloud drift, snowploughed high, never rumbled to let me know. No text no call no hoot. It is the weather they say. It dampens the transmissions, makes them crash to the powdered shroudfields lost among flakes. After, I wait at the window, my face an aldis lamp of random messages…

Kitsch-Value

The horses sleep in luxury stalls. We roll past subdivided mansions and loud domestic cars while a man in a nightshirt whispers “dope” to the swaying foam of his plastic cup. Gaslights flick and buzz. On the reddish frieze, the boxer’s cracked coconut face leaks. Me neat, you rocks, we skim a flotsam of bow…

Neon Love

Locked out, again. Neon didn’t bother pounding on the door. She leant her auburn ions against its flaking paint. Her body buzzed with electric sorrow. He had no idea how much energy she’d put into being who he wanted. Before he mooched into that lab, smelling of unlaundered clothes, bits of half-chewed chewing gum sticking…

Pathway

Eastern box turtles are said to wander widely until encountering a mate. How can that work within funnels of suburban curbs? If not eaten after hatching, pancaked crossing roads, or caught in yards to die as pets, some live 30 years within the clutter on a forest floor. Two years ago, near the porch out…

Abecedarian for Convalescence

angels speak from my open wound where the light leaks out and the blossoms in my mouth cut my tongue the way needles bled my skin for art. the dregs in the teapot remind me of every twist behind the praise and so I down the lot, flicking my tongue to catch every gritty bit.…

Trying to Explain Why I Am Not Sad

that my dad is dead – and it’s not because he hit me or worse, in fact he barely touched me at all, or ever said anything personal, though he was full of dictums (he who has the gold makes the rules) and knee-slappers (too long to fit into a poem – how he coughed…

Drained

Indianola, TX Seagulls splinter the night of salted squalls, driving rain stinging our skin. I wish I was more willing to stay here with you than I am but as lightning scripts clouds and light bulbs buzz out the dock shop shuts down. Behind us the owner locks the door and sloshes through the parking…

Wake

days without coffee golden and gripping in the wake of nights late with talking mist makes morning matter hills flatter, fatter, blurs the background like a photograph where you, only you mattered days of should and shouting, doubting the grass that should not be blue the sky that should not be red bed the only…