How do you fill
a chasm?With stone or wood
or earth?An artist doesn’t fill
a chasmbut instead creates
an amphitheaterand floods the space
with songSteep gouged walls
become a torsoits beating heart
begins to sing
First published in Hedgerow: a Journal of Small Poems (November 2014)
When do we lay these sticks down?
Having been rubbed raw of revival
no sparks enough for flames—
I am too tired to promise I’ll wait
faithful for another dawn.
You are more in love with saving the fire
than actually keeping us
warm and free from that frost that hangs
on branches above our heads—
it’s been itching at us for years.
I’m going inside the house now,
I will leave the door unlocked
but I won’t leave it open.
I won’t call out to you again.
My words caught in cold breath
as I pull off wet feet,
hang them on wires
stretching for decades.
Say goodbye in white crystal
particles drifting into the black.
First published in The Rainbow Journal (November 2014)
It’s the last thread
that’s so hard to cut
The chain’s long broken
the rope’s been unraveled
I’ve swum against the currents
I’ve surfaced near the shore
The thin line’s still tangled
through ocean tide hair
It pulls out slow and shining
like a timeline of a story
so I tie it in a bow
around my finger tight
where I’ve been
Three of my poems, “What To Do With Empty Hands”, “Your Dark Sunlight”, and “Somatic” are included in this gorgeous anthology, Snorted the Moon and Doused the Sun, on the topic of addiction. It includes work from many talented poets and is edited by Deanne Meeks Brown and Raundi Moore Kondo.
From the Amazon description, “Charles Bukowski once wrote, “Writing is the ultimate psychiatrist.” Aristotle believed that writing poetry allowed people “to transform their problems into power and their sadness into strength.” This is what we hope writing poems for this anthology did for the courageous individuals who submitted their work. Work that is raw, authentic, and deeply personal; giving voice not only to their pain, but delving into their dark side, or humorous side, or bright side, and presenting their beautiful imperfect selves to us all. Because only in this way—when we dare to share our most honest and vulnerable selves—can we transform our problems and find some semblance of self-love and acceptance.” Available for purchase through Amazon.
Write about important things
things that move me
things that crush me
Write about hurricanes
the earthquakes of my soul
It’s the grit beneath
it’s the cartilage in
I am driven to expose it
to pull it out
hold it up
to the light
I am only the messenger
of all the beauty
underneath the common face
beauty in the unheard voice
I hear it
I draw the letters
to form the words
to give it name
First published in Hedgerow: A Journal of Small Poems.
A poem I wrote for my niece to welcome her into womanhood.
Because I know he is home-seeking and hungry.
Because I see the fragility of eight legs holding tight to porcelain.
Because I once needed to be scooped up from drowning
showers to sunlit window panes.Because when I was nine, I had to break into our motel room on
a Friday night after church.Because my mom forgot to pick me up, but I knew she was just
sleeping inside.Because I didn’t have a key and I was sure she’d be right back.
Because the windows were slats of louvered glass, I could pull
them apart and lay them gently on the asphalt driveway.Because I was small, could slide between three removed slats, and
land on a mattressed floor.Because I’d rather sleep alone in a tiny motel room with navy-blue
carpeted halls leading to the tenants’ communal bathroom.
Because calling my father
was not an alternative.Because I knew my mother would come home soon even after I fell
asleep under a curtain of blankets.Because I knew if I was quiet I could be safe enough.
Because I couldn’t have driven myself home from church or climbed
up the window alone.Because someone had to scoop me up to push me through it.
First published in Gutters & Alleyways: Perspective on Poverty and Struggle.
Once again, two more of my poems are on The Poet’s Haven this week! “The Atmosphere I Miss” was included in All the Tiny Anchors, but I always hoped it would find an independent home. The second one, “Record Scratch” has never found a home and I’m very happy it finally has! Both poems are different perspectives of holding on and letting go. Still miss that atmosphere, still hoping the record will unskip itself.
It’s home movies on a reel-to-reel.
Light is always dim, pouring in
from thin covered windows.
He is carpenter, framing houses.
Long days in the sun tan his skin,
make him sleep late on weekends.
We play Ambulance anytime I bump my head,
scrape my shin. He lifts me over his shoulders
and mocks sirens rushing hurried to hospitals.
He lays me down like a patient and makes me giggle,
fingertips under the arms, across the belly.
For seconds, I forget.
I am a laughing four-year-old unafraid.
Until I am not. Until the looming frame of him
scrapes ceilings, pulls in the weight of rooftops
down into the darkest room, windows covered thick.
He does not lock his door. I play the secret game
of Find the place he is not. Stay quiet enough
and he won’t see you close the door.
He will not call after you.
Scratches flicker across film spliced memories
as the reel hums, tick-tick-tick-tick-tick.
First appeared in East Jasmine Review.
Very excited to have a poem published in the newest issue of Yellow Chair Review! “Oil-Black” is one about my grandfather I wrote shortly after his death last year. I had the hardest time setting on revisions for this poem, but decided it was time to send it out into the world. There are many fine poems in this issue, including one from my friend, Jeri Thompson. Enjoy!