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Small bells hang from the rooftops,
from the fingertips
of reclining stone figures,
from the ledges of wood porches.
They have made a place
in which the air never passes without
making music--it is vaguely scientific;
even the wind is supported with evidence,
You're invited to touch the bells,
to touch everything,
to take part in whatever-this-is,
every bit helps
in the making open of things
as they tend toward un-things,
toward that magnetism that works on bone,
wood, leaf, water,
Over a large mirror standing
at the end of a fern-path,
a sign reads
You both do it and don't do it.
A quantum state in which you understand things
in the half-whole way you might check your mailbox
for letters, and finding it full,
instantly close it again
out of habit.
At a long wooden table
etched with prayers
monks sit like rows of orange flowers.
A thin tabby leaps up, their mascot,
struts down the length of the ta
Look hereAll the mouthblood of my adolescence,
the misaligned and broken teeth,
the lapsing intimacy of fists,
of touching each other's faces:
don't look away, look here.
Only when one of us fell
would adults intervene.
Not to help us up
but to keep the other at bay
to see if we could stand again
on our own.
To fall was to become suddenly
broken, the ground a confusion
of womb and defeat,
like everything else.
It was up to you
whether you were born
again or not.
Adult, opponent, dirt,
That was the lesson
I guess--most things aren't up to you,
but some things are,
and to mistake the two
is the only shame.
The same mistakeWhere the on-ramp curves sharply,
guiding traffic from 28th Street onto
the 96 highway, a blue heron glides in a perfect
left-to-right swath above us.
I lean forward in my green car
alongside a slate-blue sedan, the man inside
also glancing up. Watching the heron clear
the two-lane ramp and graze its wingtips
between a few young oak branches
causes us to both drift, as if in formation,
so as to hug the inside of the curve.
The moment the heron slips out of view,
side-by-side we compensate
just as the ramp opens up
and we accelerate,
as if certain we had not left anything
no matter what
Splays of yellow hair,
the promise of a single violin
at all times.
Her eyes change colors
the way water traps light beneath the ice
and my love of naming things
turns to an ache.
In the short but fierce Michigan summers
a cool breeze stays near her
wherever she goes
in a phenomenon
sitting in the grass by the river
she touches her fingers
to my arm
as she rises--
more in a gesture of what she
chooses to do
rather than what she needs.
She walks to the riverside
and as she steps ankle-deep
into the water she turns to
acknowledge the space between us
and I remember our first winter
on the lake,
how we punched a hole
into the ice between us
and on our knees
looking at each other
we carefully dipped
our hands in,
letting it become unbearable
and finally lifted them out of the water,
a confusion of what ended
Stay deadthe dignity of stone
is something we all
get eventually, largely
and until then
it’s something far too many
eight ways you've made me small1. I wish
this was for you.
2. my journal pages - the
brown one with all our monologues -
were jarred with hollow vows of
last poems of
letting you slip into a coma
of bad memories, watching you
fall to your death off
a cascading cliff of disease
and dis ease.
it was never
easy for me
3. there's a reason I ask
whether you're grey
(dark white, elusively black, in between)
or blue (behind the clouds, under wave-foam,
whateverthefuck runs through the back of my
palms); I'd rather have
than the arms
that once held you half-
heartedly. you had always been
my harmony and I
would have killed
to have been yours.
4. it could never have been just me, the way
it could never have been just
5. disasters are not beautiful,
but how is it that you
managed to make my inner linings
converge into bows
and explode into wings the very
night you decided to rebuild your walls
to a lower height?
6. I wish
diaryi thinned recall,
strangled memory until she screamed black
or blue, strung her source of voice along
the willowed incline of vein to wrist and down
let the curl thirstily imply
just how cut it is to pain in numbers:
one scar for extravagant wine dates, three
for the number of times we fucked crying,
eight for forgotten promises of ever after
i heard a sordid song in your tallied matchstick
bones, victorian in beauty & proper repression
of the bloody details like a bruise we push beneath
our hollow skin with dirty fingernails
see, the past is not a headless infant with knives for
playful fingers, though it is not to say
that cribs or birdcages hold anything more than
what we leave them to engulf
i swallowed you whole, ocean— basked by the enchantments
of soft-spoken life, bathed by neurotic erosion.
they taught me that the cleansing of your body now
fades the transient you of yesteryear, speak in familiar tongue:
bathroom stall mirages of rounds, clocks, convey
ExpirationWith you I always feel like I’m
to break in the wrong size of shoes.
Sometimes I sit and stew
over how you’re seventeen and
you think I’m a princess
the trapped-in-a-tower kind
and how you wear suits and talk about politics
and think you know the world.
My throat interrupts with an affronted gurgling sound
sometimes when I think about you,
you deal out advice where it just isn’t called for
you quote science-fiction to justify war
and you’re seventeen years old and you think I’m a princess
and you just have no blooming idea.
Darling, one of these days I will tell you my mind
But until then we’ll never fit
I’m afraid –
that even after that day
you’ll still be trimmed hedges and
Whenever I hurt myselfI have a feeling
Someone is watching
So I look around
But there's no one to be found
Makers Of The Cage. Holders Of The Key.Our eyes are the closest thing we have to freedom.
We see endless blue sky, and the stars beyond.
We see the beauty of the world.
We see our reflection in the mirror;
the reality, and the fantasy.
Our eyes see far and great.
But the rest of us cannot follow.
Our hands probe the steel bars around us.
Fumbling in the dark.
Cut by the sharp edges.
The bleeding never stops.
Our feet shuffle around.
Trying to go places.
But we walk in circles.
Our emotions go from red to blue;
orange to green;
yellow to purple,
mixing in a haze.
Our mind goes to dark places,
and only wanders deeper.
Oblivious to the place right next door.
It knows the freedom,
it knows the pit.
There are endless paths to take.
There's a cage we need to break.
There is a key ourselves create.
In our hands, it's never too late.
a cherry pit dog heart.she holds a cherry pit dog heart in her hand, arrhythmic
beats like children playing pots and pans in kitchens
mother builds from scratch, black bean soup prepared
for dinner by a creased artist; wisps of white
upon a grandfather's head remind his daughter's child
of winter as he talks of horses in cuba who scratch
their backs on wooden posts; the first time she eats
ox tail is at an uncle's funeral, sitting in the basement,
surrounded by her surname, wondering why everyone
seems so happy; her grandmother keeps having
that dream where she's cooking and pours hot oil
on the animal in the kitchen, singeing his skin—
she cries out at midnight, sobbing for her daughter;
black eyes watch as her child keeps growing,
inspecting her process for future improvements,
while she takes pride in getting her sleeve caught
on twigs as she runs through the forest; motherhood
enters her every so often, at times uninvited, but
never for her prince in white, the bundle curled up
on her bed, floating
on bradbury and table dancingYou are not a wordsmith
whatever you might like to think. ('Smith'
indicates precision and coldness and fire:
words are softer than that unless you mold them strong.)
It's a difficult road to follow, and not many
make it past the fork. Choose a path,
Janus says, whirligig keys spinning on his shoulders:
I am a wordworker, with my tools too crude, forming
rough-edged carvings painted with pretty imagery.
Notebooks scattered across the landscape
of a child's room, to be stumbled across,
read, red-penned, in the thick and choking breath of night.
When the bough breaks
a hanged man laughs. He carries typewriters
in his pockets, and cigarettes in the soles of his shoes.
I will never be a word mistress,
whoring myself to the speech of people I do not know and will never know me.
The oven is set to Fahrenheit 452, but the words were already aflame
before they ever took shape under your tongue.
You love everything they've ever written, and carry
unabashed loathing for every syllabl
Quilt of LifePick it up, turn it
Analyze its weight, texture, color
Where does it fit?
Look for a space
Maybe find one
Sew into place
How much to invest?
Central or peripheral?
Perhaps to divest
Weave the tapestry, cohere the quilt
Pricked fingers, drawn blood
Fearless weaver, exacting selection
Self worth reflects in the thread
Awaiting a tardy un-required kiss
Solitude's a known companion
Its pain numbed by the flow of years
She holds out for quality
LightningboltsYou ease forward, prop your elbows on your knees.
The veins in your hands fascinate me,
like those aerial pictures I remember from school
of rivers worming through lush green areas of places I'd never been,
would never be. The curve of your back gave off heat,
the imaginary line where you ended and the room began
was too real, too sharp to be seen,
just felt. The look on your face seemed burnt
into the wood panel walls behind you.
You rose, pulling at your tie with one hand,
unbuckling your belt with the other, as ambidextrous
as a chef, as unsteady as water
spilled over dry ground. You tugged the belt out of its loops
and as your slacks sagged slightly around your waist,
you took both ends of the leather band in your fist
and swung it at my temple.
A blankness flashed up from somewhere
that I suddenly realized was always below me.
And in that vertigo
I came back to myself on the floor,
suddenly fascinated by the lightning-bolts forming
in the way the creases of your shirt
Keep in Touch!
^Nyx-Valentine arrived in our community and started whipping everyone into a frenzy with her relentless desire to bring the Artistic Nude and Fetish galleries to the fore. 9 years later, and it's safe to say that Nyx is not only a leader as a photographer in these galleries, but she has also established herself as a much saught after model. ^... Read More