2010s · Poetry

Last Thread

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

to remember
where I’ve been

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2016 · Publications

Whiskey Fish Review: Winter 2016

A poem I wrote in October 2014, “What I Mean When I Say We Can Talk Without Poetry“,  is included in this lovely collection by Whiskey Fish Review. Some of my favorite poets/friends/people are included: JL Martindale, Kevin Ridgeway, Thomas R. Thomas, and Larry Raymond Duncan. Edited by Zack Nelson-Lopiccolo. You can view the whole issue online here!

 

2010s · Poetry · The Unnamed Algorithm

Scent Stained

You are the mistake I want to make
I will wrap myself in your red flags
and let you peel them off
one silk layer at a time

You are the regret I want to have
I’ll bind you in my caution tape
lay on a bed of warning signs
cold metal against warm skin
cools your burning in my eyes

You are the fucked up mess
I want to roll around in
like a mud happy dog
drenched in your scent
I will not shake you out

How do you unsense me?

(First published in East Jasmine Review)

Events · Feature Readings

Uptown Word Reading & Arts Series

12572979_10153964841439382_1946487265694198183_n On Sunday, February 14th, I will be living a dream. What a better way to start off a romantic Valentine’s Day than with poetry and art? Not only will I be co-featuring with two of the most love filled poets I know, Boris Ingles and Karineh Mahdessian, but it will take place in the brand new North Long Beach Public Library in the neighborhood where I spent all my teen years and first began my journey as a poet. Hosted by the lovely liz gonzález, the Uptown Word Reading & Arts Series brings authors and artists to Northtown. The reading starts at 1 pm and includes an open mic. There are also rumors of chocolate cupcakes! RSVP on Facebook

North Neighborhood Library – Long Beach Public Library
5571 Orange Ave
Long Beach, CA 90805

The event is FREE, but donations are accepted

2015 · Publications

Poet’s Haven Part 2

2015-12-13 18.08.27-2

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.

2010s · Anchors (Poetry with Music) · Poetry · Recordings · The Unnamed Algorithm

Love Letter No.1: To My Pit-Bull Self

I love the teeth of your love
how you pit-bull deep
into the flesh of loving
How you make shrines
in the empty spaces,
abandoned apartments
Shrines to former residents
of borrowed books and toiletries
envelopes full of photographs
and letters in pen
How you never fill
the same space with new
but keep building out
expand the frames and floors
How you know when to change the locks
and when to nail it shut

I love how you calculate
estimate the risk
How you trust
the unnamed algorithm
the intuitive push, flashing “Yes,
love this one, let that one in!”
How soft your wrought-iron grip
holds every name tight
each face, its own story
each moment, a glass in your pane
How you refuse to argue
about the wrong
or right way to love

I love how so much of it matters
how you will forgive
as many times
as they will call
and ask for it
How you defend this weakness
with the expense of wasted time
Your time-to-give being
your love currency
not words, not gifts,
not your doing-for-me
But your minutes and hours
your speak to me, eat with me
your listen and watch with me
sit in this space of air
I breathe with me is love

I love how love-greedy you get
How you collect time
and stuff it in bags and boxes
shove it on shelves, in closets
covering walls, blocking doorways
in empty apartments
You guard-dog this house
an unapologetic hoarder
How you refuse to purge it
refuse to loosen your grip
Set shrines in windowsills
light blood candles
There is always room
for more

2-3-14
Originally published in Silver Birch Press, Self-Portrait Series.
Also listen on Soundcloud.

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 · Poetry

Sonic Screwdriver

for Josh

I wish I had a sonic screwdriver
I wish I had a magic wand
I wish I had a time machine
or pixie dust or a book of spells

I wish I had a genie lamp
I wish I had the holy grail
I wish I had a flying carpet
or a portal or an Atlantis key

I wish you were three
in the back seat of my car
singing an 80s Cure song

I wish you were sixteen
driving with me to open mic
singing an 80s Cure song

I wish my love was enough
I wish you weren’t there
I wish you and me were anywhere
far and away, anywhere else

Originally published in Carnival Lit Mag, 2014