Thursday, December 13, 2012


We're broken, perhaps lying on the shore,
or maybe we're still somewhere floating
amidst the flotsam and jetsam and driftwood
left over from the ship we sank together.
Either way, the tide has pulled us apart
and yet, for some strange reason, we appear
to keep attempting to catch one another
as each waves crests. But while we're both
floundering somewhere between home
and heartache, miles have sprouted and
the waters have darkened, and the storms
on the horizon suggest that the fight
is not yet over, and while we will never
find each other, I hope you find a way to solid
land again.

white space

If I could divest myself of all the words that grew and bloomed
inside my chest, they'd run together like so many colored lights,
blending into something whiter than the whiteness of these pages.
Unreadable, they'd stand as testament to what is everything
and nothing, what is blank, and full of life.
And I could send these blank pages, pages full of words
and thoughts and deeds, but you or someone who looks like you
would only throw them away, recycle them, because
you couldn't see that I was leaving space for
all the words we'd still not had the chance to write.
She held you, tightly, while you balked, riled up,
firing back with hateful words
and hands that wanted to take her life.
And while you hated her, she couldn't,
wouldn't leave you, knowing all the moments
that hid in the corners of your eyes
and in your mind. While I couldn't do that, after too many
doors had been shut and you saw to it that I couldn't find my way,
you've still been hijacked by your own fears, and
all I can do is stand in the corners of shadows in my room and
offer up the energy that sloughed off my body as quickly as the tears
fell from my chin - hoping that you could hear the notes I whistled
to no one, in particular, but you.

Sunday, December 9, 2012


I've realized that the hurting hasn't healed
because my words could not become
the music that my arms want to compose.
The letters all are there, in their right place,
but you'd have to hear them singing, to know
how much and how big the feelings are
that hide behind each one of them.
I was never good at writing songs,
but I think that's why I can't stop singing.
I've said them over and over,
but the strings aren't loud enough
to cross these distances forged by our
ignorance of how we should proceed.
Take these notes, and commit them to memory.
Learn them by heart, and maybe one day
you'll know the tune better than I ever could.
You were always the melody,
and I was the words.

E-mail Notifications

I wrote a poem
addressed to you
and every time
I post a poem
I receive
an email, but
this time, the
email came and
said "Message
And for a while
I thought about
how right it was,
that what I write
may never truly
reach your heart
even if you let
it grace your eyes.
In months or years
I hope that I
can send that
message once
again, and you'll
have learned
and know what I
had tried to tell
you all along.

No One

"We can't continue, you and I,"
he said to No One, standing there.
But No One had already fled,
the only sound, his exhaled air.
He cried for No One to return
and one night, sleeping on his bed,
He woke, and wept, for while he slept,
No One had come, and gone again.

The Saddest Question in the English Language:

then why?

Monday, December 3, 2012


I wouldn't know what to do with you, now,
after battling your ghost, a ghost bigger than you,
for four and a half months.
I miss your small and ambling, unassuming frame;
I long for the time when tears were real,
when you were vulnerable, and beautiful.
But now, the waves of your indifference
have washed all of these bones clean,
and we are both jaded by your song and dance.
However much I wished you'd stayed beside me
and worked to prove the words you claimed were true,
you walked away, not even kindly or compassionate,
dropping me like a weight into the ocean,
ignoring that a person was attached, only
scared that it might have been too heavy
for your arms to carry.
Well, now your arms are empty,
and you have drowned me.
Was this the outcome you were hoping for?

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Immortality II

I have written so much fucking poetry about you.
One day you'll find my name up on a shelf
and pull the volume down to see
a mirror there, inside. And I hope that then
you'll shudder, and look around cautiously,
wondering if anyone had seen your face when you
walked in, and now knew who you really were.

Realization on a Unitarian Pew; on the First Day of Advent

I used to think the empty space beside me in this Sunday pew
was a you-sized silence, meant for you, my arm around your shoulders -
but I have time and time again had to remind myself that
it's not you here, but an empty space, a space much bigger
than you would have allowed yourself to be,
an empty space as big as the future and of all the thousand
bodies and of minds that could fit in this place,
my arm around the shoulders of The Universe,
and my texts and words are all that sit here beside me
in the pages of my journals, and so I listen to the voices
seated by myself, that are myself, and learn to wrap my arms
around and hold my heart to fill the empty space enough
with me and all my silence and make room
for all the future minds and bodies that will pass through,
and maybe one day, finally settle himself here,
beside me.


This was the first time I'd ever heard of the 30/30,
Thirty poems written within thirty days,
and I laughed quietly to myself,
knowing that, to me, it was more like 60/30,
although I'd rather call them battle scars, than poems.

The White Hat

I found her white hat at the top of my grandmother's coat closet
flung, misguided, hidden, atop the other things and ornaments
of loss her husband's death had also left behind.
I remember walking her down the aisle beneath that hat,
to the tune of a violin playing "To Love You More."
I cried as I held her, after she lit my family's,
my legacy's candle, letting go to help her find her seat,
her eyes crinkling with pride at the future she now saw
reflected in my own. Earlier we'd taken family photos
and I remember those same eyes finding steely resolve,
after the initial horror at the prospect of taking a picture
with the whole family, alongside my father,
and she determined to push herself, her white hat,
and her smile into the frame.
Later they showed me pictures in our album
captured of the two of us, talking as she sat out on a bench
in the foyer, telling me how much she loved me,
as I held her, hat and all.
We cried then, and I'm crying now, as I see that hat again,
perched lonely on the dust of settling memories,
wondering where it was and how it could have been forgotten,
knowing we couldn't find it when she'd wanted it
that second and last time, to match the purple outfit she had
worn to my wedding, the one in which they dressed her,
the hat and gown in which she wished her body to be burned.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

After the Open Mic

I just sat down and started five poems,
gazing back at their half-empty spaces
aching to be filled - wondering if I'll
be back to give them more of myself
and my words.
It's like a sickness, really,
an illness that won't go away,
but that shows itself at all the most
impossibly awkward moments.
It's like the moment you first meet
your in-laws, and they ask you how
you like the food, and you vomit it up
in front of them, or the time you're making
love to the one you know is your soulmate
and someone else's name escapes your lips.
I suppose it would be like that.
Those are not experiences I've had,
but I can imagine they're rather like my own,
carrying my journal like a barf-bag,
or my pen, my epinephrine,
to catch, to stave off, to push back, to give in,
to cradle, to hold all of the loose and bile-soaked
drippings the dribble from my proverbial mouth
and trickle down my arm into the puddles
of letters I'll scoot together and chase around
on the white space of these pages,
excusing myself from society
to lock myself in the toilet for hours while I try
to get it all out and wipe the dirt from my face
and heart, hammering my head against
my words to piece myself together inside them,
tracing and retracing my past and all my
loaded thoughts, while my present and my future
sit out on the sofa, waiting for me to emerge
and interact with them again, perhaps to
down another couple drinks until
I can't keep those down, either,
and the cycle begins again,
and I ask my future on the way,
rushing back to the bathroom to spill even more,
to finish these five poems before another wave will hit,
if this is hell, or if there is an end to this,
the constantly asking questions on these pages,
and he looks at me, caressing with his eyes,
and says, my darling, 
you're immortal now.

On being sick in bed II

You would enter the room
and my blood pressure would drop,
even with the pulse that raced each
time you touched me with those eyes.
And even if only selfishly, I long
for that calming balm again,
the salve to spread over the wounds
your own hands and words had wrought,
I know that all the anger, hurt, and bitterness would
melt from me like candle wax,
if you were to walk inside my door
and merely ask how I was feeling.

On being sick in bed

It's being sick in bed
that makes one feel the most lonely,
where the last time, before, your
hands and eyes and gentle care
would cover like a coverlet,
when warmth and "anything you need?"
was brought within range of my arms,
including you.
I'm not sure what it is about aches and pains,
The can't-get-out-of-bed, uncomfortable kinds,
that bring back memories of softer,
loving times,
but one always wishes the buttons on those
memories wouldn't be pressed,
and that the aching, longing feeling
in my warm and shivery body
wouldn't be matched or outrun by
the aching, longing feeling
of my sad and shivery heart.