poems

 

art forms

a painting glaring

with animated hatred

from your side of the room

 

*

 

it’s been a couple centuries

and a handful of seconds

since we’ve seen daylight

 

*

 

when three tiny lines

are not nearly enough to

sculpt you into words

Body Temple

Keep count;
how many bricks must creak loose from this temple
before these hands begin a massacre

and crumble it to debris?
The inching threat of this slaughter,
crescendo rumbling from the palm,

anticipation for chaos to revoke chaos
has infected the fingers, parasitic,
consuming to the nail, inevitable, in a

steady countdown.

I’m trapped in a room where my baby dies

and I feel the weight of it in my hands,

brush my thumb against the smooth side

and curved point,

where dull marks bleed onto my skin.

 

Trapped in a room

constrained by time,

with a paper half marked up,

and my baby fading in my fingers.

 

No time to question

if the grade is

worth the sacrifice.

Stockholm Syndrome

When the smell of a new roast

and the itch of grey cotton against my shoulders

stir a tranquility

equivalent to that from

lavender incense.

 

Correlation

ironic, obscured,

like a poem held captive between 4 and closing,

where syntax is found inside

something prolific,

like fine coffee grinds

or an early paycheck.

 

The decaf burns my skin as I

pour an 8 oz to go

and it spills over the side –

I don’t mind all that much.

Patience

A chair sits

solitary,

its cushion and legs casting

a patient shadow in the space to its right.

 

Sitting.

 

Patience,

where feet do not rap the floor,

and legs do not grow restless,

and body cannot

shift

towards a more comfortable position.

 

But a tickle silently tremors its base,

growing, invisible,

waiting for tired legs to find themselves

near enough

to plunge into cushion

and quench two desires.

 

Sitting.

 

Legs inch by

bent at the knee, where a wobble is detected

if scrutinized,

shadow hunched,

pleading for momentary rest –

 

but a paper is due in an hour,

and time

cannot allow her to sit

for even just a moment.

 

 

A chair

 

continues

 

sitting.

 

 

English Breakfast

It takes time for the

tea to heat up.

Until it does,

don’t pay mind to the outside sounds,

screaming, spitting, spewing, obscenities that could

crumble mothers’ hearts like

lavender-lemon pies, fumbled between fingertips that

finally learned the meaning of

opposition.

 

Only about a minute more.

Maybe mixed with honey and brown sugar,

and to eat, something warm and sweeter yet,

you will remember that outside sounds

stay put on the

other side of the window.

Monsters

I heard

that the perfect magistrate

would judge him like a Kantian

and punish him like a Utilitarian;

 

Maybe then the world wouldn’t be so fucked up.

 

Maybe then the cosmos would shuffle into line,

and karma would sync up with consequence

and justice would act as an engineer to the defective

functionality of

Fate.

 

The autopsy

concocted headlines that could

entertain the most boring of

Sunday Times readers.

Have you heard?

There are pictures.

That heartless fuck.

He should be shot. 

 

 

But maybe,

think intentionality,

maybe

guilt deprives him of rest

when his eyes shutter closed,

maybe

his tears could irrigate

a field of new life,

a thousand golden roses and tulips to atone for

a mistake.

 

Maybe monsters only exist in fiction.

Tattoo

India ink harpoons its way into fabric

Strung around alabaster bone,

Staining an olive cloth with polychromic significance,

Injecting an artist’s rendering of alternative beauty

Between the stitches

Of an otherwise ordinary material.

 

And the canvas draped down the side of my neck

Bends toward the needle

Stationed between veteran fingers,

Tissue yearning to quicken the rate of absorption,

Faster, so that

This masterpiece can be displayed in exhibition

For the ordinary world to consider.

 

This canvas,

Blank – clear

That conventional parents threaded

And time blemished into ordinary imperfection,

Will irrevocably bear witness to

The colors, the fluidity,

The extraordinary vibrancy that is and will always be

Indicative of me.

From Inside Your Diet Coke

I saw my friend a couple bubbles to the upper left

Rising faster than the rest of us,

A few fluid ounces higher than at which I float right now,

With a skyline view of the rapidly decreasing culture of

Bubbles below.

 

And I mourn her morbid fate,

And I mourn the loss of a friend,

And I mourn this prodigious, unpredicted holocaust

In which we found ourselves.

 

See, there are two ways this could have gone down.

One.

Seal is cracked, cap released, a few unfortunate bubbles sacrificed to the air above, and consumption is immediate, allowing us to fulfill our destiny as beings of carbonation.

Two.

Seal     is         cracked,          cap      released,         and     open   bottle  is         left      stranded,        without           a          roof     above  its        head.

 

And not a few of us are sacrificed,

But all are killed by means of

Time

$2.25

And your negligence to your beverage.

 

Do not remind me of my imminent mortality.

Do not remind me of my apparent lifelessness.

Do not remind me of the nine quarters you scraped up to

Earn my possession.

 

Allow me to do what I was meant to do,

And get to gulping.

Before all of us bubbles are gone,

And you will pour our remains down the sink.

Because no one wants to drink a stale drink.

Recipe for the Average Misanthropist

Skepticism drips like rotten milk perspired between my fingers,

Dripping, melting into the pool of this concoction;

A makeshift mix of miscellaneous things,

This recipe that will soon be the mask I will lather on my lips,

A liquid filter,

A cream-based shield

To protect myself from my words.

 

It catches “BE YOURSELF” before soundwaves are formed,

Absorbs abnormality before its distorted rays

Reach the ears of its recipient,

Before judgements are made

That will crust and crack and shatter the other shields

I have labored to construct.

 

And then there’s the silence.

The quiet that, for the duration of one moment,

My lips dissect into layers

By virtue of being still.

 

A layer of lavender relief for the destruction I have evaded;

A layer of chilli-pepper tension for the silence that will soon be

Mushroomed from existence;

A layer of paralyzing, peppermint awareness of

The ground that hums beneath my feet,

Singing, with pride, the words I had not allowed my lips to form.

 

And here we are,

Trapped for the duration of one moment,

Between layers of silence

That are more honest than our lips will ever be.