Tuesday, December 23, 2008

God, I hate the children's department
With their stupid kids books and their
stupid activities. . .

Monday, December 22, 2008

After an Ice Storm

The ice is killing the trees,
I told my boyfriend.
He drove on slick streets.
They're fine.
They're bending and breaking
under the pressure;
The heaviness.
Sometimes heaviness is good
Sometimes it's nice having
something on top of you;
let's you know you're not alone.

Dear Lover:

"Will have hard
time without you
will miss
will write and call
please don't worry
do have a good time
will return
will see you again
until then
love you much."
Two old men
sit and stare
and smile like smoke
one is toothless
one is on his way
the toothless mumbles
and sinks within
his body
he picks up his hands,
it take work
Stroking the skin
of a smooth forehead
for hours
Fingertips back and forth
on the river's edge
The line of thicket is
my riotous curl

Monday, December 15, 2008

I want to give you something I made, it comes from the heart, it comes from someone's heart, it's made specially for you. I want to wrap it, I want to tie a ribbon on it, I want to doll up for you, I've made this specially for you. I want to give you something I made, please let me know when you'd like me to drop it off. I'd like to put it in the car, I'd like to swing by your home, I'd like to leave it with you. I could drop it off if you like. Are you home? I would like to call you to tell you about something I made. Please pick up. I'd like to give you something I made. It comes from a heart. From someone's heart.
Only now will I exploit my feelings in form
I will confess like the children do and pander
to accolades and it will be fine:
"Where have you been? And why weren't
you around?"
This could go on
for as long as we've all got paper

Monday, December 8, 2008

In a computer lab and Smokey is singing
I think the white boy in front of me
is rocking to Tears of a Clown
I don't feel so alone because I think he knows
He's feeling something
I can tell in his nod

Thursday, December 4, 2008

I have seen you somewhere before
last week, we say next to
one another
without words; with many glances
I can tell you what you wore
I know I have seen you before

I have been waiting for you
since this morning
since last month
since that time I fell out of my
crib when I was two
That's how long I have been waiting for you

You have said, "I love you," to me
in the middle of the night
when our faces are dark
sometimes when we're outside
while it's snowing; while under a tree
You have said, "I love you," to me.

In the Window of the Coffeehound

People are passing
cars are getting tickets
some woman slipped on ice
I am hesitant to join them

A man stares at all of the mailboxes
before settling on the middle
Teryn just walked by
wearing a hat similar to mine
I don't want to leave to see her

It's going to snow today
I am reluctant to leave my seat
because I am waiting for you

Going with the Fro

The seventies called,
They said, "Right on!"
You're nervous about being
a passive Angie Davis
Your rebellion is limited to
"Look mom, I'm nappy!"
You've been goaded, inspired
and trapped
into returned to your roots
and every time you pass
a mirror
you groan
or you're in awe
"Did it get bigger?"
You found it takes
a lot of work to look
this black
You never thought it took
this much work to be

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Voltaire was a Bad-ass

"I want to know,"
said Voltaire.
"What were the steps
by which men passed
from barberism to civilization."
An iron tool was made
plumbing was installed
a roof was raised
and then---
things took a turn
for the worst
armies flanked Wal-marts
fights broke out at
kiddie soccer games
we tried to make the valleys
run black with blood
and priced it 20$ a gallon.
The steps casually stepped
back to civilization.

Diseased Arts

Chopin was a pianist
who died of TB
Alexander Graham Bell
picked up the phone
and caught it
Mozart touched Chopin's
keys years earlier
and got it
Gauguin painted a yellow christ
and was struck too
Lord Byron wrote a poem
about a mistress
and that might be how
he got it
Chekov and Dostyevsky
were both Russian
and they caught it
Kafka changed, Keats
was friends with Shelley
They were infected---
not Shelley, just Kafka and Keats
All five Bronte sisters
but not their lesser known
brother Branwell,
he got opium
Emerson transended
and got it
Thoreau lived in a cabin
and got it
Poe cried over Annabell Lee
and got it
Chopin was a pianist
a virtuoso with hellish fingers
and he got it

Monday, December 1, 2008

Touching arms on the bus
is not like cricket talk
pay no mind
to fleeting glances
we're further away
than we believe
fuck-faces on laptops
looking over shoulders
"Please, touch my arm,"
they are cricket talk
I rub my legs together
with them


wind along
a brown road
your eyes travel
slow and cautious
your hands follow
the same
We watch the curves
and smile at the
signs posted:
"Blushed skin!"
We talk of longevity
our strong blood
our hot skin
as my hips rose
beneath your touch,
we paused as a courtesy---
mind the speed
mind the lines

November 29th,2008

While sipping Yerbe,
I thought about snow
and harmonicas
and all things that get old,
except you.
Snow circled us
while it was black
you read to me
and I wanted to play
for you
something "soulful"
I had nothing
but the usual, but
that doesn't get old, does it?

History of You

for Noah

French fancy way of serving
with carafe of water
dark chocolate
cube of sugar
66 known species
there are cherries
discovered by a goat herder
caused a ruckus
whole monastary wanted some
Treat the sick,
Sheik Gemaleddin of Aden
Travel with the muslims
to india on a donkey/camel caravan
ahh venice
P. Clem VIII said, "It's heaven"
mixes the espresso based beverages
it's for the smart ones.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

I'm a New Dog

I’m going to write

something different

I was told that I

was too old

I’m going to write

something different

I’m too old to learn

new tricks

I’m a dog that’s going to write

something different

I was told that I

was too old

I’m going to learn

a new trick

I’m going to write

something different

I’m going to be

young again

I’m too old to be


I’m bound to be

something different

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

among the crickets and the sky fliers there are no stars to help guide me this evening and with the course of any evening particularly this evening I find that the air is full and breathing the chirps and caws of love but who knew this was possible or legitimate or given

Saturday, November 1, 2008

4 am

I'm quiet in the bathroom
the door is shut
I'm thinking of the last poem
I wrote
and peeing

Friday, October 10, 2008

I think I've got this right. I'm supposed to mention that Dani tagged me.

The Rules? What rules? Does she mean the directions? If that's the case, i'm just going to copy and paste that shit.

1. Link the person who tagged you
2. Mention the rules on your blog
3. list 6 unspectacular things about you
4. tag 6 other bloggers by linking them (or less if you don't know that many people like myself, I won't judge you)

There we go.

Okay, now 6 unspectacular things about me:

1. I write news stories on my hands so I can use them for conversation later. "Area Man Fell in Well." I find it gets the ball rolling and people excited.

2. I lip sing on the bus.

3. I groom myself (braid hair, paint or trim nails, shave legs, floss,) to settle my hands and my nerves.

4. I rarley proof-raed my wokr.

5. I'm working on making my laugh less wheezy.

6. I love all of my friends, even the stranger ones like dani-girl and mellie mel and jenneroo, and jimbo jer.

I have the distinct feeling that i might have done this wrong. I don't give a shit. I tried and that's all that matters for kids in our generation.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

let us keep it real

i don't know what i'm doing.
i think too much about things
that don't concern me
* this morning, mosquitoes were abound
on my walk.
"this looks like
the spread of something dire."
how much i should be flinching.
will they stick? they fly well,
don't they?

* a girl
she wore a subway uniform---she
knows condiments---
she was changing a tire. lug nuts
on the ground
of the parking lot
getting off from work
i could change
a tire. no, i couldn't
not without a booklet

and it's kind of cold today
where do mosquitoes think they are?
haven't seen them all summer---
now here they come
have I unpacked my winter clothes?
like my ideas?
I could undress, but
the request
was to unpack
* i'm concerned about white boys
who walk around without jackets,
in short sleeves
i am dating one of these white boys
sans jacket
how do i feel?
how does he feel when i mark him
with the gaze he tutored me on?

i don't know if i'm really a feminist.
yes, i made this transition without
a buffer.
this worries me too.
i'm not smooth and i have no principles.
i don't know if i like the gifts
and if i like being worth the trouble
and if i like to be aesthetically pleasing.
i'm not sure whether i should be
flattered anymore or if i should maintain
that i'm oppressed. i am certain that a
mosquito got me.

i think about smaller things that
seem bigger. that woman with the cheap heels
is deranged. i remember her rant vividly.
she's asian and she talks loudly.
is she me? am i shrill, sometimes irrational,
and actually insane? i'm waiting for a
collective reply.

the woman next to me, not the asian woman,
i keep marking accurately, is black is talking
about keeping it real--- "you know what i'm sayin'?"
no i don't.
no woman is capable of this.
not for the life of me. i can't even admit
my inability to change tires.
part of me knows i can! can't be too hard.

and so i continue to think
and call people up, mostly friends, and ask
them: "am i worth this trouble?"
hoping they don't reply honestly. i know
they won't.
the white boy i'm dating, who doesn't wear
jackets---i'm very curious to see
his winter wardrobe, doesn't need to
reply honestly either.

so i wonder, i ponder, i ruminate:
"is anyone capable of keeping anything real?"
am i simply too young to know better?
what's better?
"that chicken-headed ho better not come
'round my house again with that mess.
i will straight up cut a bitch."
is that better? can't be. seems too upsetting.
the woman next door, the black woman, not the asian woman,
seems fine with this. therefore i am too.
not really.

the future is as fuzzy as this morning.
i had a meager breakfast and coasted
on fumes. i imagine this is what's in store.
i imagine this is what's waiting for me:
a light-headed feeling mixed with irritation.
the future is me lacking substance and only
getting by
on a hotpocket
again, it's barely something to worry about,
but i'm sure i'm mature enough to see
the trouble ahead of me.
i don't know what i'm doing and yet
i walk on like hotpockets are enough and
writting topics of interest and conversation
on my hand
for people, so as to appear half way coherent, is real.
and as i scratch my cold, tired, itchy arm,
i settle into the funk or existential meltdown
that is tuesday.
that's is as real as it gets.
You've read more in the eyes of a child than the book before you.
One is more captivating. I know
you're thinking about what you see. There's nothing here for you.
I averted my eyes and that's how you knew I was lying.
Before then, I stared at you for nearly an hour.
I'd like to think I'm getting better at this.
She fawned
over a man
until she saw disturbing images
I pushed my body against yours until I could barely breathe and it was not enough I wanted to dip my fingers into your body and claim each fiber as my own.
The praying mantis exists.
It was in my hair;
that's how I know.
This is a large brownie.
What if we weren't in love?
I cut it too large
And I were the girl in the front row,
and ate it too fast.
Waving my hand around---shouting answers?
I was slightly hungry
I would have lusted for you
and I didn't eat breakfast to the best
and you would have had to ignore me.
of my ability.
We would have been nothing.
You warned me of this.
Who else is in line
to help distract us
from ourselves?

We do an excellent job
of doing ourselves in.
What we do little of
is doing what makes
us happy.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

It's hot out and you note
a blush in my cheeks.
I want to say that it's because
we're interacting with one another,
but I ask if it's cute.
Of course it's cute.
We kiss again again.
I run out of things to say
and we must part.
I miss your orange shirt.

Monday, September 22, 2008

there isn't much left
to hang on to.
we like the temporary
and wish that it listened
to us

we've prayed for ideal
forgetfulness brought
to us by It

we've gotten, instead,
a grey lump of dawn
that makes up for it all

we like the crazy
and wish that the End
were perched on our doorstep

we've asked the loons
for permission to take
what's not ours, the bold

it breaks our hearts.

We are Listening

When we constructed
images out of his image
we imagined the classical
reference was not lost on the
rest of the world, so preoccupied
with images.
And we were wrong

But it’s been real.

When we waited
in the corners of a blackened
we didn’t find anything, just a
nuance of dust, some Greek complex
and cereal bits.
But we made our beds

And it was real.

When we awoke
this morning and last year
we were quiet not to wake
the animals outside,
our consideration was applied
to the rabbits in particular.
And we are the same.

It’s been real.

“Keeping track of time?”
The only thing we tracked
was the time it took the gold
filament in your eyes to darken
in light of an approaching storm
and the rabbits won the game.
And we let them believe.

It was real.

The Man

Who is the man and who is
outclassed, going on a track
headed nowhere fast and in
concentric circles?
We've seen your enemy
and we like his flair---
we're calling upon his mercy
to give out reason freely and
consider the next talk and to promise that
our reflections travel at the same pace
as those once mentioned concentric
circles that led to our almost certain
death or like-minded demises.
Those circles that beg bad mistakes,
we're those mistakes (all of them)
I looked at the same stars and
asked where that man is and
should I bother with his reception?
It's only life, only culture, only
my existence, we said.
We are not ready to
begin, but we can begin
all day if we need to.

You're a Good Man

You're a good man, charlie brown
you're the immigrant that hit the
ground running to and from the
LaGuardian taxis and it's good
to see you in this perpetual state of
rock bottom honesty mixed with
terse self involvement. It's as if
we're watching a critical analysis
of you fucking yourself. It's groovy
to me and you're very aware of this.
Aren't you?
Honestly, the demons don't make it
too far out of our heads, do they? Or
are they always within arms reach
just waiting to grope us in the dark?
But you're not afraid, are you, charlie brown?
You're the boy who cried devastated for
no apparent reason,
but it was evident though
You're the last hoodlum troubled by
the threat of one of those new cutsie
existential meltdowns that take 24-hours
to clear up.
You make us all proud
You're a good man, charlie brown.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Let's Roll

I feel like I need to get high, immediately
and for no good reason.
But who needs a reason?
I've got a reason. A good one.
Because the world is moving like an
rambling locomotive, headed straight for
an orphanage. The children are all reading
picture books based on loving ideology.
Not knowing,
a train is on it's way.
We gotta hit the breaks!
How's about we roll them instead.
Let's roll a fat one.
We are no longer individuals
you and i
We are nothing more than collective dust particles
you and i
And I am writing this down.

Chance Meetings

A man stepped out of a portable pot
and faced the world
Instead of the world, I guess,
he got me.
I happened to be passing by
He happened to be done pissing
It was a surprise for both of us.

What's Left of Me

No ones appetite is gone
but mine.
And that's the way of the world.
The sense of conjunction is blurred
We're all going to see this today.
Today, in the sense of "out there"

I'm just a little thirsty
Everyone's got a bottle of sand
to sell and I've got coins
outdated and coarse.

I am the last man standing
Everyone's still sitting
and swigging on what's left
of this poem

Portrait: Tascha

It's her palace and i'm her jester
most of the time
she is unimpressed
and indifferent
But there are brief
and shining examples
of a smirk
"I'm kind of a big deal," i tell her,
half serious---
half recounting a joke
And she laughs just like i knew she would
and then she goes back to her business

Show the jester out, please.
She is all about face-value
What can be touched
isn't always kosher.

Monday, September 15, 2008


In our collective fall from grace
we collected the last parts of our dignity
we strapped them to our bodies and
erupted from the buses, a mass of weeds
growing without memories
We are the collective idiots, praising
one another with "bless yous" and "thank-
None asked for more than what was
Necessary? We crossed a thousand miles
from the sky to the river to the mesosphere
to get to happiness.
Let's talk about necessary.
Let's talk about it all.
We're lost in what we maintain is nirvana and
we're waiting until something better comes
Until then we're along for the collective bus ride.


On a black and spacious night,
our memory left us
We didn't respect it enough
We created in haste
while listening to nothing
and then to Al Green

On this black and spacious eve
our memory left us
We do what we do
the same
Pound just calls it bad habits
We've only got one good poem
in us
(God hides it in his reserve)
and when we don't look
we repeat
vast amounts of knowledge
sung by Al Green

We are repeated offenders

We forget how we came to this point
We should stay together
"Let's stay together"
Our memory is hiding in the black
It is laughing at us.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Portrait: Noah

Caravaggio painted him
the Boy with Fruit
the graceful line from his
furrowed brow
to the tip of his nose
is where a brush dipped.
But between his lips---
that is where my tongue dips

The narrow
space between
our hearts
is turbulent,
that is, until
I run my fingers down the trail
of an ancient paint brush and stop
at the parting of his lips.

Monday, September 8, 2008


the tonic was effective the cantos were screamed the shades were drawn the scene rested in shambles and so did they the dam was not secure the air was full she was full the bones were tired the muscles were strained the faces were buried the souls were almost dead the joints were pulled the time was imagined and fleeting the backs were arched the night was finished the walls were falling out and over and beneath the backs the backs that were arched the hands were free to roam the exploration was thorough the coming and going was never the same and yet consistently satisfying the darkness was lulling and sinister and playful the bodies the hands the mouths the souls the bones the backs collided and the tonic was effective

Sunday, September 7, 2008


He's alive
most certainly
and pawing at reason
making accurate
movements, chopped and deliberate

The thumping bass
matches the uterine throb
like old music,
really old,
contractions of walls
she is awake


light that pours in
pours over skin
into the spaces between
they are few and far
this is meaning
rolling thru
under and around
old news and no news
the time that's stretched
beyond the sun
the light
that pours in
its not here
its not green
it is not a pilgrim
it is not on the road to my
hip from your thigh
trust that light
is old news but new
just the same
we've been stretched
and time is following
far and few
green and supplicant
pliant and penitent

Friday, August 29, 2008

You look like Venus,
he said as his eyes canvased
her body.
That makes you my Adonis,
she thought to herself.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Portrait: Mel C.

One woman has never been so mysterious
to me.
The thoughts etched on her face
are barely visible to us,
but the simplicity shines brightly.
She balances well, not unlike a
Chinese acrobat with tea cups.
There is less bravado, yes,
but the grace and beauty can't
be ignored.
So solid. She will be an old woman
with granddaughters who ask questions:
"What do you call a small rabbit
with no sense of identity?"
With a straight face, much straighter
than I can muster,
She will reply honestly and in French.
The grandkids will squeal and ask for more cookies.
I, myself, would steal time to remain
one seat away, figuring the puzzle in her face.
Those invisible etched thoughts that
I think I can see.


I hugged you and my arms were not tight
I had forgotten
what you felt like and I've never been good at

We talked.
We talked about the time when it was us
against the "world"
That time when I was inconsolable
and needed to talk my way through
We got to the meat a few times:
Sex with boys and girls
Sex that was confusing and disabled. Ha!
We talked about being not necessarily
old, but definitely wise.
We talked about hanging out that this supposed
new Quad
We talked about our physical attributes
We talked about frowning unfortunate women
and feminism and our own bleeding hearts

The second time I hugged you
You felt familiar. I believe I got better at it.
Now, I believe we are reacquainted.

Friday, August 15, 2008

You Call is Important. . .

The IRS listens to Swan Lake
therefore I must. . .
If I want something for nothing
and I don't.
I don't need to tell you
we live in a nation
built on something for nothing.
Who composed Swan Lake?
How do I even recognize it?
That must mean I'm not too far gone.
The IRS picked a momentous piece
to keep me going
And that's the point isn't?
Keep the carrot in plain sight.
"Our representatives are still helping
other customers--- please continue to
Wagner! That's what we need!
I'm going to get what's coming to me,
before the next movement.
I just know it.
There are few things better than
sitting in the grass with a friend,
listening to music.
We talk trash, sing, and muse
about life. There is laughter.
There are threats of excessive
displays of emotion.
Promises are made and grasses
are plucked.
We have a good time. Not just
good, but bitchin' and that means

There's More Than One

for Evelyn

Men are about as good as women
imagine them to be. (and to be fair---
it applies to all, really.)
"I love him because he's charming,
because he's handsome,
because we're destined to be together."
No one can tell her different.
She is very insistent.
The man might slaughter puppies
for a living
He might snort blow on his off time.
But she met him at a coffee house
while he was on break, of course.
She dug his Southern accent
and his blue eyes.
She missed the splatter of blood
on his shirt collar.
She missed the white powder
on his left nostril.
We've all missed something. It happens.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Bees Don't Even Have Knees

I brought the phrase: "the bee's knees,"
into casual conversation the other day.
The debacle reminded me that
I should always keep my mouth shut
while drinking.
Impossible! you say. That defies logic
and physics!
Well I am not learn'd in the arts of
logic and physics. Not if I'm calling them

I know words.
Not well enough, but we've been intimate.
We have falling outs when I drink.
They leave me--- along with logic,
who was never a steady bedfellow.
Even physics betrays me, but I'd
expect as much.
I brought the phrase: "the bee's knees,"
into casual conversation the other day.
The debacle reminded me--- fuck!
I'm repeating myself!

I know words.
We get along from time to time.
Until I drink and they've had enough
of my company and I say things like:
"Gee whiz, that's the knees bees."
There's probably something to be said
about "Gee whiz" too.
Don't go beating down the door.
"What seems to be the officer, problem?"
I'd hate to become a drinker with
writing problems. But gee whiz!
I think that'd be the knees bees!
I'm sitting on a bed with white linen,
upstairs, on wooden floors and with pale curtains;
eating grapes that I've peeled with my fingertips
and teeth.
I'm either in the room of a lover
or hiding in a lost childhood memory
or waiting for something that's better than
Either way, I'm alone. Who brought the grapes?
A man? My mother? No one, the grapes don't exist?
The pale curtains flutter against a wind
A kind hearted zephyr begs to join me
in my solace.
We share grapes in bed.

Who are the Devoted Arsonists Keeping the Flames of Hell Burning?

I need a lawyer
They have plenty

I heard if I toss out a dime
a dozen of them will fall in my lap

I have no problems with them
I have no say

The Devil exists, yes
but he's hardly threatening

He plays squash with God
after a long trial and verdict

After the sentencing of a soul
they laugh over Chinese take-out

Hell isn't as damnable as we imagine
Not if you believe it's healthy to perspire

I need a bought judge
they have plenty

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

For Hector, who was anything but subtle

Does anyone really want to know
why someone loves them?
If you knew, would it make
you feel better?
Or would it be another thing to
worry about?
Would it give you something
else to keep up?
Would it be the same if someone left you?
Would you really want to know why?
Would it be better to make
comforting assumptions?
If you knew what made them
fall for you,
would it help when they left?
Would it help knowing that the thing that
made them fall wasn't enough to
keep them around?
How special would that thing be?
Does it really matter?
Does anyone really need to know
these things?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Portrait: Archie Reid (As told by his granddaughter through a cosmic interview)

Sitting in an overstuffed leather chair
Mr. Reid is relaxed.
Loading a pipe with sweet tobacco.
You shouldn't smoke, I say
It'll kill you?
I nod. We have a good laugh
before it gets too bittersweet.

Do you remember me?
Of course I do.
Because I barely remember you,
I fill in the gaps right now.
That's okay. Want a puff of this pipe?
We listen to Beethoven
and that fills a gap.
We write poetry in silence
and that's not real.

Up here, I heard you like William Carlos Williams.
How did you know?
Willy told me. He's a braggart.
Can you tell him I like
his tribute to the common man?

Mom misses you.
I know.
I've glorified your past image.
I know.
You're a giant.
Nearly six five.
I don't know about that.

Let's listen to Copeland's
Fanfare for the Common Man.
Yes, let's.

Portrait: Rob C.

A Conrad. The first Hilton
was a Conrad, who was
obsessed with keeping the sheets clean.

He would want me to include
the phrase: "Various stages of
undress." I don't think it fits.
He would like it to fit only
because he's a last born dramatist.

He doesn't dig child-like wonderment
What the hell?
If given the choice, who wouldn't dig
it? A boy who didn't like Charlie Brown
A man who works too seriously when wants to.
But he laughs like that's all neither here
nor there.

Friday, August 8, 2008

I attract madness
wherever I go
It flows like a frothing river
from a dog's mouth
only a dog knows no better
Decorum and chivalry
are thrown out the window
My objectivity is in full view
The separation between
my pussy and my brain
is miles and miles and miles
and the only pit stop on this journey
is a pair of breasts.
The final destination is rarely reached
Ownership is now an issue
All of this
is leased to the lowest bidder
The rent is rarely paid
The madness can't be stopped
nor contained nor reigned.
I lead it wherever I go.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Thoughts on July

I pretended to work
I pretended to like the work
I was momentarily romanced
I enjoyed it tremendously
I missed a friend
I gained a couple
I thought for a while
I thought about the future
I got hot
I eventually worked
I did not like the work
I was left
I did not like that either
I planned
I saved
I lounged
I was busy
I was busy when I needed to be
I talked to people
I built rapport
I waited for a long time
I thought some more
I wrote where I could
I smiled and laughed at the appropriate times
I smiled and laughed everywhere.
I experimented with heady drugs like flattery
I got older
I did not get wiser
I avoided and exploited
I rode
I was ridden
I was ridden by the world, it seemed
I received no breaks
I am fine

Thoughts on Being Stoned

There were many factors
to consider when approaching
my momentary insanity.
Ev was right when she said:
"Your thumb is going to be sore."
She was right when she said that

The first time I inhaled, I told myself:
"I'm fine."
I said that after the first time I inhaled.
And that's where we found the
lapse of rational thinking


That was what I wanted
I didn't want to say it aloud
I would have shouted it, if I did.

Do my clothes smell like it? Romance?
No, the weed.
The craziness that ensued, remember?
I won't be with someone
who likes dragonflies. That's what I realized.
Loss of function.
Romance ensued.

I started to believe I wanted some of that.
Also, that I wanted goose liver pate
Fois de-something
I wanted shoes too.
I suddenly wanted Mikhail Baryshnikov
to read me poetry

(What do I smell like) Paranoia?
I want to hold hands with someone
who plays Beethoven's something
with his hands.
I am stoned
I am hungry
I can't dance right.

(Is everything just a little too entertaining) Paranoia?
I am slow
I could not make out "relevations" vs. "revelations"
Same word, right?
I didn't ask.

I also wanted someone to "slam fuck" me.
And I can't even take credit for that phrase
It was told to me by a "Mikhail."
When my knees are steady and wrapped
around a man's hips,
I will laugh loudly.
And this man must paint or some shit.

But there were many factors to consider.
I was high, of course.
Cookies and potatos tasted like Apollo's
sunstreaked fingers dipped in Venus' honey.
I can't go around saying shit like this.

Inaccurate and pejorative desires;
I am not devout.
I am too honest right now and still too coherent.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Why I Love Listening to You

I can't understand
what the fuck you're saying
I imagine that's because of
the years of drug use
But still. . . you rarely make
sense when you're sober
And that doesn't mean I
don't dig it, because I dig it a lot

Your raw sex is something to
dig as well. You gave it away
freely and we accepted it
without question. It was the
brazen attitude that was

You've changed though
a million times over,
but that's all water under the bridge

Who are you transmitting signals to?
I've always wondered
who the audience was
what could the purpose be?
For love? For a friend?
It's always sounded like
a lot of love for a lot of friends.

Are you still transmitting?
and for how long?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Familiar Wind

The wind moves slyly around a young woman's
pushing the bottom, ever so slightly, up her knees.
The flutter allows me to see
the brown skin of her thighs,
if only for the briefest moment.
She doesn't notice.
She drinks tea as the warm breeze
makes itself more familiar with her body

The wind's hands course their way
along her bare feet
The wind's lips kiss the firm muscles
of her calves
The wind runs its cheek along the insides
of her thighs
The wind blows a warm sigh
against her beautiful delta,
acting on my behalf.

Only when she feels a tremor in her body,
does she quickly pull her skirt lower.
And it makes me smile.
Her decorum and modesty with an already
intimate nature
Makes me smile
O! How I wish I were that familiar wind.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Portrait: Nathan (some guy at the Target bus stop)

(This is an actually account of my conversation with a young man at the Target transfer stop in Normal, IL.)

He shouted at me and I didn't see him.
I did, I just looked down real quick
like I didn't.
I'm just sitting here on this bus stop bench
like some open prey down at the water hole
Here he comes.

I'm fucking starving! What are you reading?
The Race Myth.
Looks brand new. From the public library?
I got no money. I'm hungry. I gotta get to a
car dealership.
Oh man, I'm hungry. Where is there a place
to eat?
There's a Hardies or a McDonalds up the street.
(laughs) You know I don't eat that stuff.
Actually, I don't know you from Adam.
What's your name?
Charish. Yeah. My name is Nathan.
Nathan? Nice to meet you.
What are you listening to?
Gnarls Barkley.
Yeah? Which song?
You would! (Pause. Would I? By this time, I had to laugh at that statement.
We've known each other for a whole three minutes and I wanted to mace him.)
Where are you from, Nathan?
Do you go to school?
I'm a senior at ISU. I'm fuckin' BORED. Bored as FUCK!
Got a job?
I got three!
You can't be too bored, huh?
Yeah. But I love what I do. It's rewarding!
(I didn't ask him about what he did.)
Where's the fucking bus when you need it? For chrissake! (to a passing woman in the distance) You are fucking HOT!. That dress is fucking HOT! I'm hungry as FUCK. What do you do, Charish?
I'm a student.
What year?
I'm a senior.
What's your thing?
My thing is English.
Do you speak any other languages?
No hablas espanol?
Not enough to get by.
I speak Spanish and German. But I've never been to Spain
or Germany. I hope to remedy that.
I've seen you around. You look familiar. That girl
was fucking hot. I'm just saying.
This looks like the bus coming.
Yeah it is. Let me read some of that book before it comes.
You know what? You probably wouldn't like it.
Maybe you're right.
Have a good day, Nathan.
I don't have to stand out.
I don't need to be critically acclaimed.

Being average is nothing to be afraid of.
Without status quo, how will we
know when extraordinary hits us
in the balls?

I will gladly wear the shoes of anonymity,
if it means that a circus performer
wins the lotto and gets shot
by a deranged clown.

I can afford to be the regular Joe
who sits at a Taco Bell Drive Thru
and orders some cheesy monstrosity
advertised on their latest commercial.
For whatever it's worth I can be plain
I got no qualms with being common.

Monday, July 28, 2008

July 24th, 2008

It may or may not rain today
There's a good chance though
I'm sitting on an open-for-public-perch,
my legs are out, my shoes are off
It's quite cool outside. I think it might rain
in a few moments
My feet are cool in this seventy-five degree weather
There are quite a few flies out here
They pester me, but they mean well, I'm sure
One is making its way up my leg, the feeling is bothersome
I've read a book
not all of it,
but enough. It's a good book
I wish it would go ahead and rain already
I've looked around too. Sight seeing while sitting
It's easy to do while waiting for the rain.



My bed is a mess, of the highest regards
I’ve gotten out the tools of my trade
and spread them out, over the blankets
My music— stereo and CD’s
My dictionary— I can’t be that cad, now can I?
There is an anthology
There is criticism
There is a book called Latin Made Simple
Really? I’ve gone and fooled myself again,
haven’t I?
Stein and Kerouac have also joined me
sitting patiently, waiting for some say so
There is a phone, but I’m not expecting calls
or news
And we all know what is said about no news


This mess, with these tools
makes me work at a chaotic but steady pace
I am only distracted by clipping my toenails
and past memories
I am using all of these tools to become
a low brow speculator
who lives in a timeless world
I’ve changed three CD’s— Ravi Shankar
for Jack Johnson for Aqualung
The tall and solid walls of Jericho
are going to fall— hard.
Just as soon as these tools assimilate
and work properly


I am the poet. I am the freak
I am the one who sees what others have forgotten
how to see. It makes me feel better
not to be known as the freak
I am ready to fall in love, yet again
or go mad. Gertrude, who looks mildly interested,
In this mess, I want the ability to find my things
I’d like to find my things
I need all of my things. With these tools,
I am a tongue-tied child who makes demands
and makes everything slightly more interesting
I make your bones ache less
I make your mind less congested
I make your walls fall— hard.
This is a shit load— shit·load \ˈshit-ˌlōd\ n (1973) usu vulgar: a very large amount: LOT— of nonsensical information to ingest. It’s like saying that some of the dharma made me think differently about the world.

The only stress I wish to endure, today, is carefully pulling Gertrude’s How to Write from the bottom of the book pile. I don’t care if “a” is an article or if “the” is an article. Thank you.

The music— my music can be the fascist dictator, who informs me of what I feel today. Stress and anxiety or sobriety brought on by the gravelly voice of Eddie Vedder.

I like suggestion as much as the next person. I can be enticed and seduced by the small space between shit load and bullshit— 1bull·shit \ˈbul-ˌshit also ˈbəl-\ n [²bull & ³bull] (1914) usu vulgar: NONSENSE; esp: foolish insolent talk.

Sed libera nos a melo

I had a dream that I was a pre-pubescent girl playing kick-ball. I was so flat-chested, I didn’t have to worry about slipping bra-straps. When I ran to home plate, I kissed a boy and won the game.

I think I finally got my period
What makes you say that?
Because the masses are quieted
and my underwear is bloodied.
You are mistaken. In these times
of love and war, it’s easy to get
hit by flying shrapnel and call it
destiny, desire, or menstruation

Can we hold hands in the hallways and pass notes until we get into trouble? I kiss like they do in the movies. My cinematography is brilliant and the lighting flatters us very well. I’m certain I am a woman now.

I rounded second base all by myself, sure I was going to get pinned by a rubber red ball. Right in the traitorous back, you could say. The crowd roared when I met third and then hushed when I found home. I was met with glory. The boy was no one, but his lips were Everyman.

I am bleeding all over the place,
isn’t there something minor to be
Tampax is not suitable for this
situation! We need gauze and a
priest, preferably a young one who
speaks mother’s tongue.
I remember feeling distinct doom,
but I wasn’t being literal. Please!
Please just find me a sponge!

“Our father who are in heaven”
Pater noster qui es in caelis
“Hollowed by thy name”
Santificetur nomen tuum
“Thy kingdom come”
Adveniant regnum tuum

This isn’t even the right sacrament!
We hardly have the time for this, just
skip to the end.
If I don’t wash the blood out
with cold water, the stain will set.

I hit third base and the crowd roared. I hit home and they were hushed. I kissed the boy’s lips and the dam broke. I felt his tongue and the world fell away.

Skip to the good part, Father.

Et nos de inducas in tentationem
sed libera nos a melo

Can we hold hands like the movies and kiss like the children? Can I call you and then cry when I hang up? Can we take it from the top again, starting with my line: “But deliver us from evil.”

Sed libera nos a melo.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

"C'mon Girl"

I can feel my body being crushed between a wall and a "hard" place. I can feel the puffs of air leave my mouth and the strands of hair on my lips. I move them away. I can hear someone singing "C'mon girl, let's get it right." Coming dear. I don't have time, just lift the skirt. I don't have time, just--- right there. Right. . . there. I can smell the sweat. I can feel the tremble in my knees. I can hear the desperation in your voice. Can you get in? "C'mon girl, c'mon girl." I'm coming. I can taste the salt on your lips and on your neck. I can taste the strand of hair again. I need a ponytail, dammit! I can feel you groping for more breast and skirt and time. I can hear the deafening crescendo. Did you say, "C'mon girl?" I heard you, I'm on my way.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

It's 2 in the AM

And I am alive enough to know
that my body feels foreign.
It's no one else's but my own
but the night is a reminder of things not
being as they seem and it feels weird.

The weirdness is as fresh as watching your
big toe twitch without your permission.
I should have the will over all my body's responses.
Only because I own it.
Does that truly make sense? Does the body belong
to the body?

I specifically asked for colors and all you have is grey?
Grey is dignified, I suppose. It is the mind, is it not?
My heart is permanently sprained or strained,
this in turn has an adverse effect on my big toe.
It's defiance is a reflection of my loss---
my inability to control what my heart does.

I want to go back to sleep
At least let me have control of that one thing,
let me rest.

Cloud Cover

Are there many reports of depression in London?
asked my sister. I was barely listening to her.
Beck was playing on the O.C. soundtrack. I didn't picture
the kids from the O.C. listening to Beck.
This is a far reaching assumption.
From the lack of sun.
I'm not sure. I would think the English were
used to a lack of sun.
I could definitely be one of these O.C. kids. I like
Sufjan Stevens. I like Beck too. That assumption
is also far reaching.
Because I would like to live there one day. I just worry about the
constant cloud cover.
You should live in Orange County.
Are you listening to me? asked my sister.
Kind of.

It is Hard

At the end of the day it is hard to drag the pen along the page.
I stole a donated book from work today. I liked the author, I
hadn't read the book, and I wanted it.
Let's just say it was donated to me.
I checked out a dozen CDs so I could take them home, listen
to 3, and stare at the other nine.
I checked out a short story because it was short. Ha! Gotcha.
I've got several weeks to put off reading it.
I walked to the bus stop while listening to a friend's rap music. It totally
changes the way I walk. I feel slightly tougher. But it didn't stop
me from nodding to an older gentleman leaning on a cane.
When I got on my bus
I took out the short story and read 2 pages before putting it
back in my purse.
In the crack of the window, there was a dead moth lying. . . dead.
Of course.
I stopped what I was doing, which was nothing, and stared. I stared
for awhile, until I couldn't bare the simple gruesome image any longer. I did sneak a glance a few more times.
I had to write it down. It was paper worthy. I have to say though, the dead moth made me tired
because it looked so tired and . . . dead. Of course. And because it was the end of the day.
And it is hard to drag this pen along the page.
This moth is still bothering me.
It's dead and I'm still weirded out.
Should I just move? There are plenty of other open seats.
The dead moth is keeping me here like an assumed
Are moths signs of death or the moon or neither?
I am more upset for this dead moth than
any person who sat here previous to me.
That's telling me something about myself.
I imagine it flew into a million lights
and flew with a million moth friends before tonight.
But it died alone--- a million miles away from everything
but me.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I am a little jealous of a boy

who just got a massive tattoo on his arm.
His arm is wrapped with what looks like Saran Wrap,
like he's left over potato salad.
He is super proud of his new ink.
He gets to wear a tank top to show it off,
so when people ask:
He simply points
And they peer
through the clear window of plastic wrap.
What's it for? To cover a somewhat open wound?
I don't care, it's too cool to pass up. I want one.
I want a giant cobra wrapped around an American
flag, accompanied by a couple M-16's
and instead of it etched on my arm,
I wanted it all on my back.
They might need a whole roll of Saran Wrap for me.


I am sitting behind a woman on the bus.
I am aching to finger this woman's ringlets.
They hang off the back of her head
in a black glossy ponytail,
about forty of them.
They are begging to be pulled straight
and then released.
I am thinking and behaving like a small boy
I am contemplating reaching upward and
"accidentally" brushing my finger tip
down one.
I can manage to distract myself, if only
for a moment.
I can look out the window, up at smokey clouds,
past the ponytail, but to no avail.
I am nervous and my hands tingle
I am damn close to pulling the cord and getting off
eight blocks before my stop.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

"They Are All the Same in the Light"

"In the dark we are all the same--- and you better believe it, we're all in the dark, baby"

— Robin Morgan

Do you want to hear a joke?
I did and only to please him.
The punchline was far from funny and it was a honeyed
trap that I continued to fall in.
On the day I didn't laugh I was met
with indifference
Which is just as hurtful.
Turn it all back to me. It's your movement.
And what a successful one it's been.
I have a joke for the next prick who
whistles at me on the street.
Oppression is funny, if not downright hysterical.
And hysteria is our specialty.
Far from being over and far from funny.
Do you want to hear a joke?
I'm not laughing,
says the Chicana working on her sixth baby
and dodging the punches from
her husband.
And since that Chicana is my sister,
I'm not laughing either.

My Brother is MIA

My brother cannot be found, not without the government garnishing his wages.
My brother creeps into a corner and cries foul when reminded of his responsibility.
My brother is: "A thousand percent sure that this baby is not mine!"
My brother sold me out decades ago because I remind him of his roots.
My brother's roots are black and deep and they threaten his chances of rising.
My brother's children are made in my reflection and they, unfortunately, need support.
My brother doesn't know how oppressed he is and I don't have time to explain the finer points.
My brother must know that I am oppressed too, I am a dark woman working on one thing at a time.
My brother must know that the world doesn't love me because of those two strikes.
My brother makes a living off my image that is his own.
My brother doesn't know how low he has sunk.
Before finding her clitoris, the once martyr
feigned great showmanship.
Even though
she wasn't aware of the show.
She didn't know about the early and late
curtain calls
She didn't know about the many wardrobe changes
She certainly wasn't expecting the mouthful from the one man
standing ovation followed by her many bows to accept his grace.
Nevertheless, she put on a great show
In the morning, in the afternoon, in the evening.
She was overworked and underpaid pussy
that was made-to-order and ready-for-pickup.
Just pull around to the second window, please.
That was until one day.
One tired evening, after a five minute jack-hammering
from above. Oh. Ah. Yes. That's it. Right there. Ooh.
She retired to the bathroom where
she got down to business.
On the side of the tub, under the noise of running water. . .
She felt like there was something amiss.
When she found it, all the pieces fell into place.
They didn't tell her about this!
How long had she missed out?
With a grin on her face, she exited the bathroom, jumped back in bed,
and was the happiest little once martyr there ever was.
Her audience was none the wiser.
They bought their tickets.
Stood in line for concessions.
And took their seats.
they watched and they clapped and they stood, not knowing the great showmanship in their presence.

Wish List

And what do you want for Christmas?
I want to be self-fulfilled prophesy!
With all the fixin's.
I want a doll that I have to be tied to at all
hours of the day. Can she come with diapers and a lack of support, please?
I want a vacuum cleaner with a detachable hose! I want to clean every
inch of my play house before my husband comes home. Can it come with
an apron and a string of pearls?
I want a TEA SET! I hope it comes with fragile pieces of china
to dust and to cry over when they break.
I want a play oven. I want to sweat over it and use it make baked treats to eat, when my family isn't looking. I want to stuff down pain and depression with sweets.
Anything else?
Yes! I want a hardworking husband to fawn over, to have children for, and to give my life to.
I think I deserve it too,
I've been a good girl this year.

Happy Birthday!

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
How old will I be? 34? Shit. . . there is nothing sadder than being 34. But there is the alternative. Death?
Death. I'll be doing the same thing I do now.
What's that?
Just enough to get by. It's hard to say where I'll be when I'm doing that.
Ha! I'm laughing a good natured laugh until my sides hurt.
Is that funny to you?
Yes it is and I'll tell you why. I'm far too immature to own a husband. Don't you have to feed and water them? When I leave on holiday, do I have to take it with me?
And children?
Ha! Again.
This is also funny?
Hasn't the world gotten itself into enough trouble following God's lead? I need nothing made in my image.
So where will you be?
That "where" again. I don't know "where." I don't even know if it's necessary to wonder. 10 years is a long ways from now. I have hopes though.
Yeah, I've got prospects, but it hardly matters. Jesus. 34.
That really bothers you?
Yes it does, but it's better than the alternative.
Death and mediocrity, but I'm working on the latter.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

While Reading

While reading Time or Glamour or Hustler or Scientific America
I found an ad in the back that read:
"For more information about love, please visit:


the sight was grim even for Time or Glamour or Hustler or Scientific America
The stark contrast is blatant, but isn't it always? Stark, I mean. Isn't it always stark?
It's beautiful too. I like the look of my brown legs against the stark whiteness of your
sheets and your white skin. The light is dim with a flutter of a curtain against a light
wind. And I can barely think. That's not true, I'm always thinking. The furrow in my
brow is hardly there because it's spacious inside my skull. I'm thinking about the heat,
the cieling fan above, the closeness of our legs and the sweat that separates them. I'm
thinking about the stark and beautiful contrast we make.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Hi! My name is Charish
and I am calling myself
a writer these days.
I surround myself with
people who create.
I have a tasteless sense
of humor.
There are still a lot of
things that amaze me:
People are still eating
I enjoy dating boys so
I can write about it.
I like to stare at people
and make up stories
about them. They are
usually lurid and over-
reaching tales of
scandal and intrigue.
I sing aloud in a small
voice and dance when
it suits me. That is
most of the time. I am
sympathetic to the point
where it hurts. I forget
that is called
empathy. I laugh a lot
too. I worry about
things that are out of
my control. I laugh at
kids who claim they
are so OLD! Fuck, I'm
old. But not old enough---
certainly not mature
I tire every easily, but
only because I'm lazy.
I'm extremely lazy be
cause I'm done applying
I have no idea what
I want to do for a living.
Ain't I living right now?
Why worry about
living for later?
I enjoy acting like
a philosopher.
Lovely to meet you.

Monday, July 14, 2008

What I Learned At the Library

I learned, from bawdy brothers, who had no choice to take me on as a sister, how to say: "Shut the fuck up, motherfucker." Not normally found in my vernacular, I decided to try it on. . . and see how it fit.
"Shut the fuck up,
Might be one on the most liberating phrases known to man.
I learned other things too. I learned how to talk about another person's mother.
"Hey, maybe we should stamp some cards for tonight."
"Yeah? Maybe your mom should stamp some cards for tonight."
I don't even know what that means. Or if I should be offended.
I learned how to act a goddamn fool. I learned how to smile more. I learned how to do that roll thing with my arms, you know, that wave thing? I can only do it to one side, but I'm still working on it. I learned how to run around and act like the boys. When asked:
"You wanna shelve some of these books?"
I learned to reply:
"How about you shut the fuck up, motherfucker!"
"Yeah, but the books?"
"Maybe your mom can shelve the books."
We always fall for that one. I'm getting better.
I wish you were born a man.
Let us hold hands and pretend
Let us bow our heads and pray
"Father, son, quiet daughter
in the corner."
I think it is time we discussed
the finer points of gender.
The agreements and dishonor,
the naked ambition a lovely
girl like you should not have.
We're all somewhat disconcerted
about your oath:
"We, who are about to die, salute
I wish you were born a man
so such a seminal statement
made more sense.
Let us join hands now---
Let us pretend now---
That I love you just as you
And that you respect me for

The B-side of Poetry

The B-side of poetry wakes in the undergrowth of the better known
oak in someones front yard, as the neighborhood children play around in
the streets, around the car, and you've told them a million times
not to play around the car. The B-side rolls around with the moss
while the kids play. It is totally abandoned in favor for nuts
and broad deciduous leaves. It is totally abandoned for: "So
much depends upon. . ."
Get away from my GODDAMN car, you little motherfuckers!
The B-side of poetry shrugs against the roots and black bark of a
mighty oak. Now the neighborhood children are playing with a
ball. After you've yelled at them? Where are their parents?
The oak groans and shifts in time to say: "The apparition of these faces. . ."
I'm calling the FUCKING police on your asses!
The B-side of poetry goes back to sleep.

Hail Hail

Alexandria is underwater and there are hardly enough
government assisted trailers to go around.
Save the books, the old and the first books.
The library that held the secrets of a drunk man,
Long before coke was ready and available, is going down.
Poseidon's rage and the rage of a sword and the rage of
a scorned lover and the rage of an empire that ran on
economic stimulus packages. . .
sunk the library, a few battleships, and a few stomachs.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The song

I was listening to a song
under my headphones
in my bed
This song was so beautiful
My hands traveled
to the space
between my breast
Just to feel my heart swell
My other hand traveled
to the hollow
of my throat
Just to feel my soul pound
The collapse was magnificent
The beating of the universe
in my ear
on my tongue
as I follow along
to a song I knew not
The crumble was majestic
And when I couldn't handle anymore
The song's arms lifted me
out of the destruction
into the air
Into the world
I saw brilliance
My hands tightened
my soul strained
my heart burst
and the song. . .
the beautiful song
bled through my ears
my skin
my lips
The collapse was magnificent

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Closing Time

The boxes represent and illustrate a
time in her life when leaving is the
best option.

You can't kiss her or stop her.
Although one is more important than the
other, you can't choose right now.

At a time when she's packing it in
and closing shop, the sign in the window
represents and illustrates the lack of business.

And the boxes are full, brimming with her
life and all the things you've missed. This is all
familiar, but the best option, of course.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

A Fox is Mingling with the Chickens.

(This poem was written for Danielle Fox, an excellent poet, who has not written anything for awhile. I do know that she recently underwent dental surgery and while this is serious, I find it no excuse to stop writing. This poem is designed to light a fire under her ass.)

I've noticed that you haven't written anything in a long while.

You need to start stalking the coop again, get those chickens

riled up again. Get the clucks and the feathers ruffled.
I know you're worried about those teeth. That's it, isn't it?
Get the fuck over that shit, is what I say.
William Carlos Williams tapped out shit after five strokes.
With his right index finger. He just tapped and perspired and
tapped some more.
Now, I don't really know if it was five strokes, all right?
Wikipedia said it was a series of strokes.
And I don't rightly know if it was his right index finger, they didn't
say. But I do know that most stroke victims can lose mobility
on one side of their bodies. I don't know if Williams was a lefty,
but most people aren't, so I'm giving his tragic story the benefit of
small miracles.
The point is, fox, you need to get back in there and tear those fowl
up. Tell 'em who's boss.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Portrait: Tim

(Since none of these statements felt right crammed together into one poem, I decided it was best to put them into convenient shorts)

The most refreshing gift he can give us is his laughter.
The most sincere, most withheld gift a man on the move can give.

He carries no weight while he walks
and he walks a lot.

His serious, sometimes mischievous, but always engaging eyes wander like time wanders down a secluded hall.
They usually have a purpose.

Mild mannered men don’t usually start riots, but when they do,
they move like eerily quiet tempests.
The danger is palpable and succinct.

Me? No, you lie.
No one does and that’s a shock.
They are honest about him.
But modesty is beautiful.

How Do You Feel about Hi-Fives?

How do you feel about hi-fives?
I want to ask him, but I never get
around to it.
I’m curious about him and I have more
questions than I can form into words.
How do you feel about your eyes?
Are they the most important parts on your body?
Are you a breast man? An ass man?
Do you like Sunny D?
I hate Sunny D.
I want to ask him these mundane things
all the things that supposedly matter to me.
The kind of things I could form with my
mouth when he’s not kissing me.
He’s a distraction, yes, but a pleasant one.
When his hands are up my shirt
When his lips are my belly,
creeping lower and lower. . .
What are your thoughts on the French Revolution?
What do you think about bananas?
Did you know chrysanthemums were first found in China?
If so, did you also know that they’re faintly toxic to
American ladybugs?

Millennium’s Bastardized Children

Online predators
Mexican landscapers
Land division
Sweet 16
Rigged erect— I mean, elections
Spitting women
Reality minutes— Everyone’s got talent, the kind that sucks dick
Petrol hoarding steel shrapnel
lap-bands, lap-dance, bypass, biracial
Injected beef
Insecticide sugar
Inane music
All in the name of a Holy Land
Holy shit
You can now say that on t.v.
Fast women, fast cars
Girls! Girls! Girls!
Pills! Pills! Pills!
Take it off
Pull it on
Botulism is tasty
I’m a pin-up
Aids relief
Flood relief
Bowel relief
Masticate trans-fat
Masturbate verbally
Master Sergeant says, “Let’s keep moving!”
Stay the course
Semi-annual pantie raids
Dancing presidents
Falling starlets: too hot to catch
Climate control
Fucking penguins
Melting, melting, melting
In Kansas and in the Alps
Denim for a fruit shaped ass
Footwear made of animal pelts
Smart producers
Old performers
Today: Circus with news
Riots— not here
Change— not here
Bob Dylan— not there
Neither are we.
Hopped up on CGI, some superheros with overgrown superegos, some fish, some toys— all animated, all adult, all consumable
Small girls
Small dogs
Big bags
Solid aspirations to
Get Made
Get Crunk
Get in line and consolidate
This is the time to love
This is probably the time to conglomerate
This is most likely the time to text
This is the time to ejaculate
This is the time to [fill in the blank]

This is the End

There is it, the end of days.
The fifth horseman came on a high one
of course.
If we leave the food sitting out,
there’s bound to be rats and pestilence.
Who’s horse is that on?
Oh God.
Oh Mary
Oh Jesus H. Christ
O Jesúchristó, muchacho
For the remainder of the world is going to hell
in a hand basket,
I want to spend that time in bed or under it
with the fifth horseman.
He knows people and I’m willing
to sleep my way to the top.
God bless the Blessed Ascension!


You’ve got just enough heat to
spread your legs six inches wide.
You are pleasing to the eye and
that’s why we keep you around.
The half lidded look is new and
refreshing and so unlike you.
That pout in your lips has never
been done before, has it?
A cock tease if there ever were one.
Air it out with six inches,
that’s enough space to accommodate
the slender hips of a ready-made
man. Beckon. Smile. Teeth
the lips.
You’re on in five, honey.
Have a great show!


A one horse town
Rent-A-Center, Aldi,
Mane Street Salon
That one horse is out in
a field. Ka-pow!

Meramac Caves!

If anyone really wanted to visit the caverns down South, they’d take down nearly half of the billboards on the side of the highway. Jesse James hid out there with his gang. That’s all the caves are good for. Seclusion after a bank robbery.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Styx was on tour ages ago. Actually last month according to the woman's concert t-shirt. I would have never guessed.

Three black girls full of nothing but, what someones grandmother would call, sass, walk shoulder to shoulder to shoulder up the street: Hot damn! look at those shorts, look at those legs.

Two more kids, no three, four---four more kids are following a father. For the whole day? Who set him up? Going to the mall is like rafting into the heart of something obscenely dark. Oh, the horror, the horror. I want some candy!

She's a tall drink of water, someones drunk uncle would say, hanging off the arm of a man who feels her body heat and smiles accordingly. She thinks like the smile of DaVinci's painting. Murky. She controls the pounding of her heart with the steps they take and wishes his lips followed her wherever she walked.

Beautiful. That is how he describes her. She loves it when he laughs. She loves his lips. She loves the tired look in his eyes. She loves it when he describes her with. . . Beautiful.

The Asian girls have discovered cameras. Every angle of their name brands can afford to be shot now. They laugh and dress as stereotypically as possible making it easy to pass them, what someones mother would say, wooden nickels.

Lone Route

There is not enough crack on the
corner nor enough stoic bleeding hearts
Not too many angry benches. Ding!
This stop belongs to no one, so we go.
On and on till, some would say, the
break of dawn. No. Not enough
level headed hormonal women who
pride themselves on brilliant children
and dry hamburger helper.
Help her! screamed the party of three
watching that lone cracked out corner.
The bleeding heart they believed in was
neither bloody nor stoic. Ding!
This stop belongs to no one, so we go on.
On and on and on. Because, some would
say, there is no last stop.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

What moths do during
the day is their own
business, but I'm still
quite concerned.
I'm concerned about the
cresent that is my back
and it's ever arching battle
against a mattress
Do the moths know about it?
Do they read about it during
the day?
Are they secretly awake
during the day asking these

Monday, June 30, 2008

I broke my ink pen, while listening to The Cure, while shifting positions on my bed, while writing this poem. I didn't like the song, which made me believe that I didn't like The Cure all the much to begin with. Maybe just a couple of their old songs. I liked Love Song a lot. All in all, they were no Duran Duran. Someone is bound to agree, most are ready and willing to disagree, though. Skip to the next song.

As I shifted from lying to sitting, I had my pen between my right---no my left, thumb, index, and middle finger. I can't write while lying---lying down, I mean. I lie, fib, and bullshit all the time when I write. But I sit up to increase my awareness and so The Cure doesn't put me to sleep.

I am a little disappointed about the pen. It was a damn fine pen with silver in all the right places. My thumb, index, and middle finger broke it in half. Not quite. . . it kinda just popped open. I can twist it back, but it won't stay. This might as well be Purgatory with the way I'm twisting this thing. My expectations are soaring. Click.

If I hold it together, quite literally, hold it together. . .
It won't fall apart, quite literally, fall apart.
It's a mantra that The Cure could have sang about.
Duran Duran could done a better job.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

"I can't really say when I started thinking about the world," says the old man in the thick fur hat. He looks like a friendly Van Gogh. He chews whatever it is old men chew and sits back in his seat. As the world passes by through the windows of a bus, I half listen and half stare at the drizzled scene. It has been raining for two hours. I have been on the bus for three.

"I imagine it was around the time I got married," Van Gogh goes on to say. "Back when I was in love, that was before the war, you know." I do not know. But I can imagine. Love and war, both very timeless. The old man in the thick fur hat pulls on his ear. I can also imagine that part of it is missing. Back when good friends quarrelled over paintings. It was before a war.

"We didn't know if we would see each other again. I was leaving. . ."
I nod in agreement, though there isn't anything to agree to. "We make plans, you know." That I could agree with. I nod again. "God doesn't agree with our plans." He shakes his head and tugs on his ear, still. "I saw a lot of things. I didn't know if I'd get back to her."

"And after the war was over?" I ask. Van Gogh smiles knowingly and tilts his head back against the headrest of his seat. "After the war. . ." he sighs contently. "I came home to find her hanging clothes in the backyard. She was breathtaking." I pull my gaze from the window towards the old man in the thick fur hat. "I snuck up behind her and kissed her neck."

The particulars don't interest me or maybe they do. I enjoy seeing such a happy man. He laughs. "They don't call it the baby boom for nothing." I share in his laugh, though I don't understand what absence does or how hanging laundry goes. "The world was turbulent then. I thought about it a lot." That I could agree with. I nod again.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

On the train to Calcutta

I caught a disease, it mimicked malaria, but I'm not a fool. It was love.
I was sweating and and my heart raced. I could barely talk, but what does
that matter when you can't speak--- what do they speak in Calcutta?
Shit if I know. I didn't take my immunizations for love. It gives me the
shakes and the tremors and the sweats and the deliriums.

Monday, June 23, 2008

The black men in Chicago would love you.
Yeah, you'd go over pretty well.
Like prized beef in an auction.
You know what I mean.
I'm afraid I do.
They holla at anyone.
Yeah, I saw this real fat black girl get on the
train with a bucket of chicken once.
Oh Jesus, a bucket of chicken?
I'm not kidding. I watched this guy
give her the look.
The look? You sure he wasn't just hungry?
He was checking her out. Like I said, You'd
go over pretty well.
I know where I'm going on vacation.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

All I wanna to do is sit where the
smokers sit and eat french fries. I
try to be very nondescript. I do.
"I like Junior Whoppers."
"I like Junior Whoppers."
"Looks like you got a picnic going on."
Yep. Just finishing up actually.
"Mmh." Tobacco pouch is pulled out. "You wanna hear something funny?"
"Do you? Do you wanna hear something funny?"
I got burnt real bad on my back.
the other day. Sun burn, you know?"
"So my aunt says I should take a bath
with tea bags. Tea bags! I don't know,
something about the tannin helps burns."
That's true. (But why would I give a shit?)
"So here I am sitting in a bath full of
tea bags, feeling like a damn fool. . .
but dammit if it didn't work! Tea bags!
What do you think about that?"
That's something.
"Tea bags!"
Well good luck with the burn. Have
a good day.
"All right."

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Refugee Inspired Pants

A friend of mine owns dancing pants, his
tailor told him so.
I own a pair of refugee pants, no one
told me this, I'm just socially aware.
With no home and no ambition to find
one, I'm satisfied with their wanderings.
Dancing pants? Those are fine, if not practical.
What will they do for me?
Can they save me on the road, on the streets, on the benches, on the dirty trains, on the small tuk-tuks, on the cargo hold of a ship, on the dark forest floor of the sweating jungle?
My refugee pants are kept together and will not
lose their wits. Not under the foreign scorching sun. Not below the canopies and the stars.

Friday, June 6, 2008

My Greatest Fear

My memory is leaving me---or
I just don't respect it enough.
I've written things in haste while listening
to angry chick music, listening to Joni
Mitchell, listening to Al Green, listening
to that springy child prodigy show off,
I don't remember what I wrote.
And then I write it again the exact
same way.
Pound would say that's just bad writing.
That I've only got one good poem in me
and I'm writing it over and over in
mediocre ways.
I know the words, I've written them before.
I laugh the same way when I wrote
them down the first time.
My memory is in cahoots with my
sanity and they are laughing at my
madness. They shake their heads
as Joni and I search and grasp for
that one good poem.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Portrait: My Devil

"Sometimes, how something is done
makes up for what is done."
And sometimes that works in the
reverse. Should there ever be a
need for my assistance, I want you
to know that I'll be there, but my
terms will be laid out in full, just
as I expect to be paid: In full.

Sometimes there is something that
must be done and sometimes it
doesn't matter how it gets done.
Should you ever need me to be
the doer of that something,
I'll do it, just don't concern your-
self with the minor details of
how it was done.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

"Untitled" for good reason

What if my name were no longer
Charish Halliburton? What if i
changed it or just never introduced
myself to anyone ever again? Who
am i without a tangible identity?
And is an identity ever tangible?

There's that girl. What girl?
How would they answer? i've
always wanted to know. What
other identities do i have that i
don't know about?
What do they say about Charish Halliburton?

American Girl

She digs mass produced things like
children and beef burritos.
Things that can be bought and sold
like souls and stocks and sofas.
She's bartered her sex and her
toaster oven for the people of her
community. Leases her life out
for pennies on the dollar, buys all
things she never needs. She's a
perfect consumer and projector.
An exceptional piece of work
manufactured by her exceptional
fore-mothers. God bless, she says
on ocassion. God bless beef burritos!

Simple Man's Music

That's the only thing I see and hear.
It's distracting as all get up, this sound
of simplicity. This is the kind of music
a simple man
revels in.

Create, Don't Find

I'm not located somewhere that warrants
my search. I don't need to be found,
I'm right here.
I need to be continued though, built upon,
and expanded. I'd like an exploded view
of my being to be put on display.

Nothing to say, now

I didn't have anything to write about
because there was nothing worth
I could have written anything, but
you know that's not my style.
At least on appearances only, I've
got you believing that there's
method mixed with my madness.
I could have have written about
my madness. It would have been
honorable to tell you about it.
But that's not how I work,
I didn't have anything to write about
which is fine, because you can't keep
this creation shit turned on all day.
You'll run down the batteries and
won't be able to use it in emergencies.
You want to be able to get it up, later,
don't you?
Besides, bullshit, that's not my style.


Elevators have gotten larger
I've lost a considerable amount
of weight.
About one hundred and sixty three lbs.
And one hundred and fifty three weren't
even mine to begin with.
I don't trust/like thieves and shape

But back to those elevators. They've
gotten considerably larger. They
move slower too. When an presence
within is missed . . . it is truly missed.
There was an unsafe feeling before, but
it was mixed with excitement.

it's a feeling called dread---sprinkled
with loneliness and slight. When
the wave of nausea sweeps though,
not even peppermint tea is a levee.
I talked about this didn't I? Remember?
That's why I don't consume with
the same fervor as before

There is an absence in the elevators
and a one hundred sixty three
absence in my body. . .
both are truly missed.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Windy Skirt

That is not going to work, I tell myself as we stare into the closet at a white, flouncy, cotton skirt. It will work, myself tells me.

If the sun is just right, it'll be
fine. The light will bounce off of it
and combine all the things in the
world right below your waist. Who
could ask for more?

If the wind is just right, it'll be
fine. The sly winds of the east and west
would co-mingle at a two mile an hour
breeze that lifts the hems above your
knees. Your thighs are caressed and your
hands move fast. How would you like that?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Two Hails for a Mary

For whom do those sirens toll for?
asked my friend, a hip girl. She tapped
her ashes in a glass ashtray and
silently mourned someones loss.
Do you do Hail Marys? I asked my
friend. She shook her head.
I wish that made a noise, said my
friend. I'm not a Catholic anymore
That or I just don't give a shit anymore.

I'll pick one for you, I said to my friend.
All right, said my friend. She ground
the butt of her cig and grinned.
Go right on ahead.
I say, it's because you just don't give a
shit anymore.
Why's that? asked my friend.
Because you'll always be a Catholic---No
changing that.
Mmh, said my friend. She sounded
thoughtful, if not hopeful. You mean to
tell me
that that there's a chance I'll start
giving a shit again?

I was thoughtful too, if not hopeful
I think there is no good choice here,
I told my friend.
I wonder for whom those sirens toll for?
With any luck, they might be for
Or me, said my friend
Shall we Hail Mary for it?
I don't give a shit.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


I'm eating cheesecake
I'm washing it down with Earl Grey
I'm listening to Duran Duran
I'm easily waiting to grow up
And in my leisure time
I'm taking timed sophisticated sips
I'm forking down dainty fork-fuls of cake
I'm hitting the bridge with timed precision
Take me home British Pop Sensations
I'm going to gorge myself with time
I'm going to get a stomach ache
I'm going to regress to my former self.
Take off my sunglasses when I wake up.

Are you Mad?

You ill reputed emotion
I can barely harness you
w/o seeming amateurish
I sound shrill not frightening.
I'm disappointed, beat
and torn and waiting to
tell my therapist all about it.
The version I tell her will be
indignant and rational, not
annoying. But it's her job
to sit there and nod thoughtfully.
You're a shoddily used emotion
To stifle myself I'll say nothing.
Being full w/you
is not satisfying.
I turn out only petulant not frightening.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Idle Chatter

I've told a thousand stories, one more mundane than the last. I'm getting responses, mostly laughs, all at my expense. It's expensive and it predictable, but I keep telling them. If I didn't, then I'd have to write them. If I write them, there's a chance that no one will read them. I don't want to tell you about the way oil slicked water runs down a storm sewer. I don't need to tell you that the geese in my front yard are freeloaders looking for scraps of bread. You didn't ask, I know you didn't, but it's my job to tell you anyway. You dig? If I didn't tell you, I might have to write it down and then you'd really miss out. Did I ever tell you about the time I fell down an oil slicked water fall, down a storm sewer and onto the back of a subterranean goose who asked about the pieces of rye toast sticking out of my pocket?
"I wear the black for the poor and the beaten down"

---Johnny Cash

These will last forever
and in the world of flowers
that means
one week. Great.
One more emotionally
and socially and atrociously
misfitted man to avoid.


Are you ready?
For the stations and your children to call
80's and 90's the oldies.
Jesus, my mom is such ROOTP!
(acronym for Really Old and Out of Touch Person)
Spears' burnout will have to compete with Joplin's
and we'll shake our heads and muse: Remember?
Oh yes, we'll say. "Hit me baby, one more time."
Are you prepared? Did you fire up the
teleporter this morning? Do you have pill-form
steaks on sale?

Tour dis Grace

It's too cold to sit outside Target
and wait on the bus.
That's why I'm sitting inside
watching people nosh before noon.
A mother buys her toddler a
cookie, an elderly couple eats
salted buttered pretzals
A young woman walkes in w/o
a purse and immediately our
story takes a turn for the worst.
Immediately, I feel uncomfortable
for her.
Because there is nothing lonelier
than a purseless woman.
Has she nothing to carry but her
plain soul?
Let's try and distract ourselves from
the pretty face and unfortunate body
That will be the last sexist thing
I write.
You're wondering how will I
warm enough to write about the
human experience today?
I want to sit inside and wait for
the bus.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

One Month

One month?
It made no sense when I first heard it.
There's no way I should feel better in one month.
I thought about you just the other day
and I tried to make myself cry.
I stood still for a moment and crinkled my
face up. Waiting.
Like a sneeze, it felt like it would come
and didn't. I willed salty discharge to
EJECT from my eyes.
I took a breath and tried again.
No go.
I want an iced coffee.
One month? Ridiculous, I first thought.
But it's actually starting to make some

Monday, May 19, 2008

At what age do children know how to use pockets?

The Biography of Six

I didn't learn anything in school, surprised?
I need to write this down.
Everything in my life is chance.
I was never brilliant at anything.
I laugh until i get sick.
Always in a state of discomfort.


I'm getting to be that age
where I have to call my mother "Mary"
and not "Mom" in public. If I see her
in the distance and call out "Mom!" she
and a hundred other middle aged women
are going to turn around and say,"What?"
This won't work because I'm not ready
to call her "Mary." Too weird.
I don't think I know her that well to be so

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Leaving So Soon?

Lying in the nook that is your arm, I never fell asleep.
I didn't relax either. I stared at the ceiling, the crack
in the wall, that box of something I can't identify. I
wonder when will the time come when you move and
I shift.

I've got a toe cramp or a charlie horse, what do they
call those things? "It really depends on where you're
from in the country." I can find my hair all over the
place and that's the only part of me that stays

There's no other way to take this, or give it. I'm
kind of wrinkled and sort of--- a lot of--- disheveled.
The only way to get out of here is to escape from
your arm. I'm not sure if I'm ready to go
just yet.

Yeah, you're right. I gotta get out of here. The cramp
the horse, I don't know what the fuck it is, is acting
as riotous as my pulse. But not in a sexy way. It's a
way that makes me wonder how much time I've got

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

You know that the elastic things
on the bands of your underwear
are flipping hard to pull off
without them bouncing back
and slapping your butt. It stings.

"Get Some Dental Floss!"

The note in my Marble Memo Pad reads as follows:
"Get some dental floss!"
I don't remember writing it and
I don't know what warranted the panic in my tone.
Was I eating steak? Or corn on the cob?
I haven't eaten cobbed corn in several years,
but I know this note isn't that old.
This must have been around the time when
I thought it was fun to walk around Wal-Mart's
health and beauty aisle, throwing toiletries in a
Maybe it's not panic, but sheer delight, in my tone.
I GOTTA "get some dental floss!" ASAP.
But there's still something uncharacteristic about
this note. I wrote it on a slant as well. An upward
slant that seems to shoot for the clouds.
I meant to write more important things in my
Marble Memo Pad. The slant is the growing
disappointment that reminds me of being a girl
who filled her purse with toys before leaving home.
Can't have an empty purse, now can you?
Did I ever "get some dental floss!"?
Only God remembers. I should ask him if I'm
still wanting for an answer.
Written on a slant, filling a whole page like a
teddy bear in a purse, it stands out blatantly.
I couldn't have forgotten this.
But somehow I did, I have blocked it out
and for good reason too.

N. Street

I walked a concrete catwalk
taking in the dragonflies that passed
by. I tried not to flinch.
I was barefooted and it was hot.
Had I more callouses I wouldn't have
felt how glorious the ground was.
I count small miracles as I carry
perfectly fine shoes. How can anything
ever be "perfectly" and "fine" at
the same time?
I carried fine shoes in my right
hand, hooked on two fingers.
Whenever I can, I take them off
and those creepy dragonflies in
without flinching at the warm
rocks I step on or the long stained
glass wings. Have you ever seen
a more perfectly primeval fly?
I have not.

Moby Dick

Did you see how dark it was?
Yes, I felt the impenetrable heaviness.
But did you see what it was wearing?
Twelve white boys drove by
bomblasting the same gangsta trip.
That doesn't seem like a word. Was it as dark as we're used to?
Probably not, but you know darkness.
Yes, I've felt the impenetrable heaviness
All right then.
I saw the blackest eyes make odd
references to old pop.
How old?
Old enough.
How black are we talking?
Black enough. I also want to say something else about the eyes. . .
they mentioned something else.
Something about darkness?
They wouldn't dare. They don't know, not
like you and I do, about how
dark dark is.
Probably not.

I'm Good at This

What response can I give on the
inability to fall in love?
Never a good one, it's always one
that will only pass on basic appearances.

You're the Ben Franklin of love!
If that's what I am, I am.
6 scones and seven T's later
You've found my real aversion.

It's that emotional distance
between the kitchen tiles and
the left-over Lo Mein on the couch
The walk is longer than we think.

Just like I've never finished a
dripping cone---I'm not done
with my pretenses of loving
that boy, that strange one.

You can sit here and discuss
my inability to love or fall in love
What was the question? Whatever
looks best.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Portrait: Jenna

“Oh Mother Millett, give me
A sign,” is her mantra.
But it’s damned hard to hear anything when
Papa Hemingway is in your face.
She’s got a swagger that rivals John
Wayne but she cries about her hairy
Legs. Oh kiddo, no one’s concerned
About your willowy legs or your love
For the girls.
She smiles slyly and says: “Cooool.”
But it might as well be awe and childlike
Wonder that makes her grin. I told her
Repeatedly to go Reckless into that Good
The Jewish girl’s eyes widen and tell
Me I’m crazy. Well
I’m in good company.
I’m over it, says she, the tall drink of water who
Thumbs her nose jewelry.
“I’m going to need the keys to your car,
Papa. I’ve got a tree farm to head to.”
Way to be Gentle, Miss Wayne.