1990s · All the Tiny Anchors · Poetry

Gummo (From a Dream)

I saw you on TV lastnight
tall and skinnyextra nervous
your off-set fashion
twelveyearoldface
you were talking with David Letterman
(who wouldn’t listen)
you kept looking away grimacing
you mention Ulysses and Snoop Dogg
I felt like calling or driving
to your apartment and no-talking
I just wanted you to know
he was trying to be nice
maybe you knew
he didn’t get you
but the likeness wasn’t perfect
maybe it wasn’t you
he displayed his hair and his face
you are much more socially adept
still there you were
sitting in your brownpantsuit
and redsweatervest
talking about taped bacon
I just thought you’d want to know
sometimes I see your handwriting in my stereo cabinet
sometimes I hear you standing with hands on your hips
sometimes I forget I can’t drink Kool-Aid anymore

10-18-97

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2015 · All the Tiny Anchors · Publications

The Poet’s Haven

Just got word that two of my poems, “Car Accident, 14 Months Going” and “Death by Rust“, were accepted and published on The Poet’s Haven. Both of these poems were written in early 2013, which feels like a lifetime ago. “Car Accident…” is also in All the Tiny Anchors and “Death…” was included in Cadence Anthology: Year Two. It’s still wonderful to see they are getting some individual love out on the poetry universe. 2015-12-13 18.08.27-2

 

2010s · All the Tiny Anchors · Poetry

Daylight

Your arm hit the blinds
they swung like a pendulum
brightlight
brightlight
piercing my eyes you
held up your hand
to stop the sun
to shade my face
it felt just like love
so I sunk
into you
in the silence

First published in First Literary Review East and included in All the Tiny Anchors.

2010s · All the Tiny Anchors · Anchors (Poetry with Music) · Poetry

Honey

The first time you kissed me
I should have seen it coming
You were animal-starved
pawing hungry at my hips

You were hurricane-tongued
bracing me against your mouth
I pulled up fierce to match you
claw for claw around your neck

I could not hear us breathing
deafened by your torrent eyes
I did not recognize the beast
devouring my skin like victory

I wasn’t your prey or your prize
bound to be death-squandered
I had waited beyond time for you
to lay yourself down at my feet

I had hoped for honey sweet
and slow to drench my lips
with tenderness. But I—
I should have known

First published in Pyrokinection, also included in All the Tiny Anchors
Listen on SoundCloud.

2010s · All the Tiny Anchors · Anchors (Poetry with Music) · Poetry · Recordings

5:38

I keep smiling while I read them. All three texts. Sitting at a Greek place with coworkers at a long table for fifteen. Middle aged women and their husbands are asking about you. They all want to meet the man who put stars under my skin. I just told them about the place we found with 30 minute lines down the block, where they create gourmet pizza to order. All of them want to try it. Three texts at once isn’t like you. The waiter sets the cheese on fire and everyone is opening their mouths at the flames. I’m still burning on fumes from last Sunday when you’d kissed me full enough for days. I had felt lucky all week, lucky enough for months. I read them now. I keep smiling, but I am losing the ability to hear. My head goes underwater as our table splits like an aquarium wall, everyone else on the outside. All at once I am wishing there was a magic portal to stop time, an alarm clock for waking up, cameras to be revealed as a cruel joke played. Someone must have stolen your phone, is holding you hostage, making you text those things in English I cannot translate. I have to leave immediately. I leave my coat. I leave my purse. Leave my untouched food on the plate. I try to climb into the circuits of my phone, step through satellites, make you look me in the eyes. Make you face me when you fire that gun.

 

First published in Carnival Lit Mag, also in All the Tiny Anchors.
Listen on SoundCloud.

2010s · All the Tiny Anchors · Poetry

Westwood Boulevard (Why I Can’t Go Back)

I.

because I’d have too many questions
like does her husband know
have you ever met her children
do your parents know about her
does she hate your new car
or your new 60-inch TV
does she love the extra 20 pounds
I left behind

II.

because I know exactly
how small your ass really is
how you taste in the shower
how your eyes are lost
first thing in the morning
how you loved those thin pillows
from World War II
how you bought a fat one
just for me
how I know you really meant it
at the time

III.

because I’m still counting days
they are all anniversaries
of first times, of last times
of times we drove for no reason
my calendar dates lay over
like a transparency
so it’s all how-long-since
how-many-days-until-it’s-been
and every case on People’s Court
mentions November and Hurricane Sandy
then we’re standing there on the Boulevard
you said we need to talk
find some place for dinner
we missed our movie
I could unmake plans with you all weekend
it was cold enough to wear a sweater

I can almost count the hours

IV.

because I forgot to hate you
though you really wished I would

V.

because I told everyone
with eyes or ears near these words
I spoke you out loud
I own my story—this is mine
I will love it long after your scent
is rubbed off my page

First published in Tic-Toc Anthology (Kind of a Hurricane Press).

2010s · All the Tiny Anchors · Poetry

Flourish

The possibility of birth since our death
has passed, yet— in nine months
a new life is here now, where you abandoned us.
This Thursday girl, my child, my only daughter,
has become the woman you will never know, like
you once knew
the most unlit folds of me.

I birthed her from my own black ashes and none
of the fragile skin of you. She lives in my night side,
grows in those thick shards, those tire weight pocks.
She flourishes in the white vacuum space you
sucked out from me
like a plane window under pressure cracked,
spidering—
instantly gone.

She loves the deafened stillness and
grows in my gnawing hunger, grows out
through my fingernails and the follicles
of my new hair-the softness of which
you will never know—
like you once knew the lather and rinse of it.

First published in The Mayo Review (2014), also appears in All the Tiny Anchors.

2010s · All the Tiny Anchors · Poetry

Cathedral

I take you with me
like a chain around my wrist
I took you through security
brought you to England
and on the bus to Wales
I pushed you up my arm
with bangles clinking soft

I went to Ireland to forget
the sound of your low voice
in every hotel you wait
for me to sleep without you
under pillow-white comforters
and clouds under roads
of endless miles and miles

I change my nightshirt
I change my long pants
but I find you there
in the bottom of my shoes
I met a poet who married an artist
after years and years of not
their deep folds of white skin
stinks of my undreamt dreams

I count the days unhad
in the cracks of aging stones
in ancient Scottish castles
dissolving like dead paper
black and grey and brown

they all eat like you
knives leading forks
in sway and swoon
painting food on plates
but only in reverse
pinks follow greens
orange and tan rising up
leaving only empty white

five thousand miles
two hundred days
I can’t dilute you out
filling red wine with water
flowing over the rim
I see you in the gift shop
and in the hotel shower
I leave without you
touching my own skin
brushing my own hair

I am whole without you
like a lone cathedral tower
gray stones on stones
without walls or ceilings
for centuries it stands
without congregation
or faithful believers
still, it stands without you

First appeared in The Mayo Review (2014), also in All the Tiny Anchors

All the Tiny Anchors · Books · Publications

Review of All the Tiny Anchors in East Jasmine Review

The newest issue of East Jasmine Review, Vol. 2 Issue 3, includes a wonderful book review by K. Andrew Turner of All the Tiny Anchors. Two of them poems in the book, “Words in Stone and Liquid” and “The Truth of My Skin” were first published in EJR earlier this year. I am deeply honored that Mr. Turner wrote such generous words about the book. He covers each of the four sections to show the story arch. He also quotes specific lines from the poems to illustrate his points, which makes it feel so much more personal. Please check out all the issues of East Jasmine Review. (They are all currently on sale for less that coffee at Starbucks!)

If you’d like to get our own copy of All the Tiny Anchors, you can buy it directly from Sadie Girl Press or find it on Amazon.

cover

2010s · All the Tiny Anchors · Poetry

Words In Stone and Liquid

You said “I love her”
sitting cross-legged in front of me
on the side of the trail, under
that tree where we’d once kissed
like frenzied lovers. The same words
I’d held between my teeth,
circling for weeks waiting
for the space to lay them down.

I thought your words were liquid soap
in the cups of your fingers where
you washed my hair with them,
dragged them across my shoulders,
down the valley of my spine, and deftly
through the inlets of my toes.

How you said those words with your voice
seemed too easy, a well-worn sweater
pulled on in the dark. They formed
on your tongue like weighted olive
branches reaching out. Her name
was old-familiar from those books
you shoved back behind your shelf.

So I laid out my own pebbled words
neatly in rows and columns, though
they would never wash your skin,
only seep in this soil where, like
a hundred times before, I sat
across from you cross-legged.

.

First published in East Jasmine Review, also included in All The Tiny Anchors.