2010s · Conversations with Gravel · Poetry

Dead Song

I wait no more for your polite
I run no longer to your cordial
I let no wind carry
let no night star
I fight not for your uncertain
for your wander, for your lost
not for your stroke, not your soothe
No more gray ink
photograph gaze
No collar bone
valley of skin
I set fire to your words
I drown your colors
all swirl of rainbow
I lie in your grave of kindness
I cough out your breath
I spit you out
wipe the taste of you
from my mouth

First published in Ekphrastic California.

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2018 · Publications

Redshift 1

First publication in a while! Arroyo Seco Press has a new journal, Redshift, with three of my poems, “Fate Ignores My Resolve”, “Dreams of Falling”, and “Water Witch”. Edited by Thomas R. Thomas, this anthology also has poetry by Michelle Thomas, Kitty Anarchy, Lloyd David Aquino, Lorraine Biteranta, Francesca Borella, Scott Noon Creley, Larry Duncan, Barbara Eknoian, Jeffrey Graessley, Sarah E. Gurney, Curtis Hayes, Steven Hendrix, Betsy Mars, Lee Anne McIlroy, Kathryn McMurray, Karie McNeley, Penelope Moffet, Zack Nelson-Lopiccolo, Shannon Phillips, Wendy Rainey, Steve Ramirez, Kevin Ridgeway, Tere Sievers, Francesca Terzano, K. Andrew Turner, and Susan Vannatta. You can purchase a copy on Amazon.

2010s · Conversations with Gravel · Poetry

Unnamed Color

If I were a painter, I’d find the darkest
blue paint—thick as gravy—
push it slow across a powder-white
canvas, diagonal edge to edge,
let the ridges and valleys of the stroke
seep into a settled mass. I’d drag
the brush saturated in blue past
the easel, over my window pane
across my pale green wall
and onto my bed frame. I’d shape
the prints of my hands where I held
myself above you. Where I saw
you under me like a child, like one
who never married, never had children,
never worked twenty years in the same
company, never had to harden his heart
like police armor. I’d paint
the color of your eyes—
if they could ever be captured
in a shade made by man.

First published in Ekphrastic California.

2010s · Conversations with Gravel · Poetry

When I’ve said all the words I can say

I can only sound.
I dissonance.
I shutter volume.

I scrape metal to metal
–skyscraper groans
–car alarm until it backgrounds.

I tree crack from roots
–siren ambulance, fire truck.
I bone crush
–violin in a cold, dark alley.

I canyon scream
behind double pane windows.
You, inside, sit soundless.

First published in Ekphrastic California.

2010s · Conversations with Gravel · Poetry

How to Go Backwards

Remove hands. Remove tongue. Remove legs.
Leave heart. Leave eyes. Leave voice.
Remove say.
Leave said.
Remove fuck. Remove kiss and dark car.
Leave ache and story.
Remove naked.
Leave cold.
Remove knowing.
Leave knowing.
Remove lover and want.
Leave honest and cordial.
Remove betray. Remove conflict. Remove open.
Leave close. Leave accept.
Remove complicated. Remove layers. Remove hold.
Leave alone. Leave alone. Leave alone.

First published in Cultural Weekly.

2010s · Conversations with Gravel · Poetry

If you ask me what I want,

I want you unraveled
I want you edge-frayed
I want you seam-busted
threads dragging
I want you broken glass
and rusted gears
tornado torn
tsunami choking
I want you black-eyed
swollen-lipped
nose-bloodied
I want you raw
I want you singed
I want you fat pulled
off the bone
I want you diary-read
secrets on billboards
I want you spit out
I want you dried-up
dead flowers hanging
I want you burnt forest
and dry savannah
I want you limb-splayed
arms tied and hands nailed
I want you teeth-cracked
you feet-blistered
and back broken
I want you heart-dead
voice-cracked
lost-souled
I want you motherless
and child-lost
I want you loveless
and ugly
I want you cheap
and fucked

First published in Cultural Weekly.