Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

Build me out of fire.
Spin me out of coal.
Trade all your lot for a second
Chance your luck on now.

I've thrown in all my pennies.
I've coated every wish
in roses that reek of blood
stained bandaged wrists.

By tomorrow I've forgotten
every promise made yesterday.
But today I'll rock myself
to sleep, and wish someone my
soul to keep.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

When I think of Munch

What would it feel like to be on fire?
It's mentioned in desire and hatred equally,
in areas of lust and in moments of pain,
where loathing or passion consume.

I can close my eyes and imagine mouths
distorted in mishapen Os of misery,
flesh melting like candle wax,
crisping like turkey skin, well-done.

In my mind, fingers blacken and curl,
over-ripe bananas that burst at the tip,
and blisters colonize tender areas like
upper lips and forearms.

Right now, I feel as if I've doused myself
in a barrel of water after the burn,
and I'm screaming soundlessly underwater
as my skin sloughs off in tallow chunks,
rising to the surface.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Stomach Virus

Inside the braces laden molars
you tripped a trap that left me
sprawling, falling, tumbling, head
over hells, that sprung in 9 circles
of geometric unpleasantness.

Brick fences popped up like daisies
which swung wildly back and forth
while chanting radio jingles
and spewing fortune cookies axioms
that cracked my skull into confetti.

I trolled the Claddagh for foreign tongues
and slanted eyes and skin thick enough
to stave off the burn of gas lamps and pocket
rockets and a sun bright enough to let me
see you clearly.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Just the Two of Us

You'll grind my bones to make your bread.
I'll leave the bread until it molds.
We'll eat sandwiches from dawn to dusk,
and toss away the crusts.

A penny saved is a penny pinched,
and you'll pinch copper 'till it bleeds.
Leave fear shaped footprints in your wake
and me to sit and seethe.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

I Haven't Eaten Breakfast Yet

If I could weave together words-
the way our fingers spliced,
filling gaps between our palms
and creating bridges from flesh-
maybe you would whisper
about things you'd forgotten fifteen
years ago and I would not be
clearing dishes from our wobbly
kitchen table.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Lay my head down to sleep,
eyes lashes flutter against splintered boards
and an anvil cools the side of my cheek
I'll wake at intervals of twenty minutes.

Instead of sheep I count sorries
that stack up like bricks
and dance on my throat;
I'll fix it tomorrow.

Dreams creep like poison ivy,
infect with an itch, that lasts
'till they're gone, and you're
left with the scars.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Because I'm Rich

Mr. Hughes smelt like mothballs. He collected crumbs in his beard the way coin collectors coveted rare Buffalo Silver Dollars. His house was filled with pictures of celebrities that he took the time to meticulously cut from magazine covers and then showcase in outrageously expensive frames. On Fridays, he would squire up and coming starlets around town in his mother's Rolls Royce. However, on every third Friday of the month he would call up the Sex Phone Hotline and spend his night panting into the receiver while clipping his toenails. Mr. Hughes did not have many redeeming qualities. However, he was very very rich, and usually that helped.

His mother, Mrs. Hughes, spent her days directing invisible orchestras in the NYC OldFeller's Retirement center. She believed that the orderlies regularly poisoned her lime jello and would squirrel it back to her room, where she sneakily deposited it in a hat box in her closet. She lived for the second Tuesday of the month when her son, little Jimmy, would visit for the afternoon. He would sit in the mustard colored chair in the corner of the room, sniffing distastefully as he asked her how she was doing. Mrs. Hughes would berate him for his growing beer belly, his lack of style, his insistence of wearing a comb-over, his stooped shoulders. It was the happiest part of her month.

Your Face Looks Funny

On early curly cue Tuesday mornings,
(they say it's the most productive
day of the week) I would sit
with cheese puff sesame pastries
that shocked and dissappointed
with every bite.

I would attack the pastry
with the same enthusiasm and drive
people saved for their Sunday
yoga classes or their Thursday
window washing, but instead of
elbow grease I employed
molars and spit.

In this way, I would prep and stretch
for the week ahead. An endless monotony
of moments where one is expecting sweet
cream cheese, and instead delivered Velveeta.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Today I'm Drinking Tea Instead of Coffee

You cradled me from near infancy
and had me believing in a world
that shouted change from roof
tops high enough to eat the sky.

I brought you presents of nail
polished turtle shells and wild
flower bouqets and torn and scabby
knees ripped on blacktop barricades.

Once I knocked the binoculars
from the kitchen table and you shouted
until your face turned red and locked
me outside until my hands turned blue.

I'm pretty sure you're shrinking while
I grow and that my nose now rests
on your collar bones instead of halfway
down your arm and suddenly I'm afraid of heights.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Why I Don't Use Ceramic Ashtrays

When I was in high school, I used to try
my hand at sculpting, finding a weird sense
of satisfaction as I pounded the air
bubbles from the lump of clay,
slapping the slab once, twice, thrice
against the wooden table.

I would pump the wheel, finding
solace in the whirl and hum as my
lump of clay because a pot, a cup, a
vase. Something that would hold water
better than my arguments could.

Sitting on the wooden stool, my
ass would lose feeling, and my hands
would grow a new skin of cracked clay,
as the walls of my vessel eventually folded
in on themselves, after too-many reshapings.

And finally, when I reached ceramic perfection,
my glazed master piece would pop and crack
and shatter in the kilm. Because those air bubbles?
I had missed one.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Where do I go from Here

I am the rubber necked ballet slippered
dancer that sits on a wooden stage with arches
like canyons, rubbing tired swollen feet that no
longer fit into cracks in the sidewalk.

I am the tug of war grease stained
sailors knot rope that is slung from the gallows
over sun ripened marshes, the stink
billowing into nostrils, sinking into hair folicles.

I am moon-kiss, wind-slap, sun-cracked
skin thats stretched over cheekbones
resembling wire hangers, each angle sharp
enough to poke your eye out.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Why Not

Albert’s mom had left him in the lobby of the Doctor’s office. She was in the office getting some more tests done. Every weekend it was the same thing. His mom would pick Albert up from his Dad’s house and they would go out to breakfast at the town diner. After a meal of the diner’s special, particularly runny eggs, French toast made with wheat bread, and not so fresh squeezed orange juice, Albert’s mom would package him into the car and they would drive to see Dr. Munoz. MD.

The Dr.’s office with its peeling wallpaper that exposed its grimy white walls, was almost like Albert’s second home. Some kids went to the zoo, others to the playground. Albert went to Dr. Munoz’s waiting room. His feet swung high off the ground, banging into the scuffed plastic seats. He picked his nose complacently while listening to the secretary talking to her friend Janice on the phone about her latest male conquest. Albert watched as her pink plastic fingernails drummed out a rhythm on the enameled desktop.

Some of the other children, who were also waiting for their parents, played in the corner of the room with the broken wire contraption loaded with beads and the battered plastic fire truck. Two small boys wrestled over a one-legged fireman, both fanatically pulling at the poor toy by his arms.

Albert calmly surveyed the scene while he reached down to scratch his leg through his best pair of jeans, the ones where the bottom hem was almost intact. He jumped down from the plastic chair and walked over to the magazine stand. After several moments of contemplation he chose the new nickelodeon magazine, detailing how to make slime birthday cake, before skulking back to him plastic seat.

One of the small boys succeeded in ripping off one of the fireman’s arms and fell back onto the beaten carpet. He began to cry in a high-pitched wail, drawing a glare from the secretary. The other boy triumphantly waved the disabled fireman in the air, before throwing it back in the pile with the other toys. Albert merely sat back and attempted to read his magazine, meanwhile dreaming of grander places than Dr. Munoz’s lobby, places where there was no tapping, or wailing, or inattentive mother. His eyes closed while he sleepily considered this magical place, meanwhile returning to picking his nose.

Dime a Dozen

The clock keeps time on the wall. It was one of those fanciful clocks, shaped like a cat, where the cat’s tail marked the passing seconds with each sway. Roger always disliked those types of clocks. To him, they seemed to be a charade, as if the owner was trying to mask the true importance of the clock by parading it in some absurd caricature.
“Stupid clock,” he growled to himself while spearing an onion on his plate. His fork slid off the onion and came scrapping down on the plate instead. Immediately his father slammed down the paper he had been reading, the cover story advertising an undercover liposuction scandal.
“What did I say about making a scene at dinner?” Roger’s father demanded as he glared across the table at his son. The veins in his neck protruded rather obscenely and spit flew from his mouth.
Roger merely ducked his head and went on with his attempts to stab the onion. Finally he succeeded and shoved the onion in his mouth, beginning to chew rapidly. One, two, three…how many times was a person supposed to chew something before they swallowed? Was it ten, twenty, fifteen? And did the number of chews change according to the food? Roger doggedly puzzled over these essential questions, while his father began to change shades until his face was a deep purple.
“Listen to me when I talk to you boy!” his father screamed as he banged a fist down on the table, causing the glasses to shake and the cat clock to fall down from the wall. The clock fell onto the scuffed wooden floor, and the ticking finally stopped as the cat’s tail was severed from its body.
“Is something going on?” a weak voice asked from the nearby bedroom.
“Look at that. Look at what you’ve done now. You’ve gone and woken her up,” Roger’s father hissed at him lividly, although in softer tones. “It’s nothing dear, nothing at all. Go on back to sleep now,” he called sweetly down the hall, before shooting one last glare in Roger’s direction.
Cramming the rest of his food into his mouth Roger pushed back his chair and left the table. He scrapped the remaining gravy from his plate into the trash and proceeded to rinse the plate thoroughly before putting it in the dishwasher. Then, without a word, Roger turned away from his father and went up the stairs to his bedroom. On the way up he wondered just what good a dishwasher was that didn’t actually wash the dishes.

Lynnie Liner

Lynnie Liner sat rigidly, back rim-rod straight against the cold plastic chair. She idly tapped her pencil with her right hand, pausing every now and then to chew on the end. Bite marks were gnawed into almost every square inch of the #2’s service, the yellow paint long since chewed away to expose the wood underneath.
Her scuffed Reeboks were planted firmly on the linoleum floor, now and then trading positions, right foot in back of left, left in back of right. A stretched out sweater hung off one shoulder, spotted with mustard and ketchup stains from last week’s lunch. Lynnie absentmindedly reached up to adjust her hair, which at that moment was struggling out of its messy ponytail and falling to cover one side of her face and the eye that was contained there.
Her eyes squinted doggedly at the page in front of her, nearly taking up the entire surface of the unstable desk. Every now and then she would bring her pencil down to the page, eraser first, and furiously demolish whatever was written there, causing the entire desk to teeter from one side to the other, and Kenny Halken to look up from his own page in front of him and glare.

The Woman Next Door

There's a song that plays from an unknown source
and that merges with the Carnival-esque music
that heralds the next period (one of 12 or 13
in the day).

It bubbles up from the cubicle next to mine
and subtlely winds its way into my cerebellum,
causing me to slump and jerk in my green
upholstered rolling chair.

Sometimes, after I walk and bus and walk
once more and finally settle into my stain-free
sheets I can still hear the prancing tune-as relentless
as a Korean mother, telling you to eat your kimchi.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

You Cost a Nickel

Kiss me and pour all of the penny candy
sweat soaked afternoons into sucker punch
pursed lips
where you cradle saliva drenched promises
pertaining to broken raincoats and forgotten
lunch dates in your teeth.

I will map out routes to India through
your life lines and scattered love lines
and trace the blood stains around your ripped cuticles.
And your fingerprints with hold
bathing houses for all the people you left behind
while forgetting to be scared.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Culture Shock

Every morning I wake up and staple
gun a smile to my face before stretching
my gradually whitening limbs onto the synthetic floor.

My head craddles a litany of fool proof phrases
that slosh around Broca's region like foreign soldiers
caught in a flash flood.

Whether going to the grocery store or getting money from the bank,
eighteen sandbags are strapped
to my arms and legs
and my mouth and ears are filled with cotton balls.

While sitting at my desk, my fingers clench and unclench
reaching for something that I haven't yet discerned.
asking with words I havent learned.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

There're Korean Figurines in My Cubicle

Spill me from naked fingers
blushing under the attentive
gaze of sun strokes,
that gift liver spots
and beauty marks
and freckles in equal measure.

Yesterday I was told that
having a small face was the
height of beauty
and with Socratic induction
informed, that in all my
foreign glory-
I fit the standard.

With each conversation
we weave ourselves together
crosshatch cacti longing
that prickles as it pines
for summer days spent shucking corn
and snapping peas-
I'll count the hours by your shadow.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


you slide through my fingers like
grains of rice, pearly seeds
sinking into rich soil to create
speckled shoots that spell out
baggage, which will not be
contained within photo albums
and ticket stubs and birthday

i watch us burn out and rub
my fingers in the wax to create
printed ships that bob and
distintegrate without a trace
and in my mind I trace the oil
spill rainbow ripples that flow
outward from the

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Work in Progress

He would velcro his toes to the cement lip
of the pool, peeling them up one by one
with a rip, to dive into aquamarine
aquatic shoe boxes.

He spelt his name like zip-cord
and gene splice and forgot the second
half of the alphabet because he was too
busy dropping noodles on his socks.

After school we bend over treasure maps
and rub peanut butter fingers over trails to
final destinations, while our hair would waterfall
in ribbons of blond and black.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Our pinkies linked like promises
made in sandboxes, castles crushed
beneath our bottoms, when we
failed to look before we fell.

If I had a nickle for everytime
I fell off sidewalk curbs and
rocking chairs and wooden
docks then I would start a menagerie-

a home for all the exotics that walked
with three eyes and two hearts,
beneath skies painted dark chocolate-
we would open our mouths when it rained.

I wish I could bleed into your mouth
like vampires and restore your buck
teeth and crooked smile, but instead I'm
left hands empty, knuckles white

Monday, September 6, 2010

I Wish I Remembered More

She would pump her legs so hard and fast that at times,
it almost seemed as if she would flip over the swing bar
and crash onto the rubber wood chips.

Ribboned socks were replaced for revamped skirts
that she would fold higher after school,
and let boys slide their hands up her thighs
in the back of rusted pick-up trucks.

One summer a daisy grew between
the cement creases in the sidewalk
and she watered it and talked to it
and one day plucked it bare-
petals falling like feather tears.

Her bed was stained with snot and tears
but her sheets were clean,
so that at night she would clench them
to her chest, holding tight to lies.

Goddamn I Miss You

When I shut my eye
lids at night, I can't
help but see a field
of eyeless you dancing
hand in tail with maggot
babies, roaring with silent

I want to peel apart my
shoulder blades and pluck
you from among my rib
cage, where you'd sit perched-
long legs swinging.

There's a certain kind of
helplessness when I think
of you tipping like an ice cream
scoop, on your way to the ground;

The seams of my flesh pulse and pus
and I curse the fingerless
seamstress who sewed me back
together in all the wrong ways.

Please wait for me by water
holes and broken bicycle wheels
and I'll let you teach me to stand on my
handle bars and together- we'll taste sky.

Friday, August 6, 2010

adult psychopatholigy

I once had a teacher who told me
that once he had become a father
he realized two things.

The first was that, you should always
buy two of each stuffed animal
you give to your children.
Just in case, the stuffed animal becomes
a beloved friend and they discontinue
the toy and your child loses their toy
and you go down as the worst father.
In history.

Secondly, he said that there are two kind of tantrums.
Those bred from frustration and anger,
and those which stem from wanting to issue a

One of the most important things, he told me,
was learning to distinguish between these two

I'm still learning.


Quench wet crackle of flip
flops on linoleum tiles,
strung like crooked teeth. Kissing
enamel whispering stories of
the late night grind.

A popsicle stick gifts splinters
like a supplicants prayers, lodged
long and deep; one for every
drop of cherry sweet that
passed my lips.

In the locker room, I watch
as water rivers from my face onto pebbled
floors, pinching fish belly
thighs, searching for diamonds
in the sand.

We fought on the day before he died.

There Were Feathers Everywhere

There and here children
were scattered, broken blown like
feathers, air-twisting dandelion hair
everywhere, Saturn rings caught
stuck shut on chubby fingers
in love with long blades of slick grass.

Lovers slept in silent slings
clenched hard fast cold over
fists; streetlights line alleys like
toy sentinels, stand proud straight-
baby doll eyes staring from beneath long

Flutter flung pale forearms bent
open crooked cruel, mud creased nails
bite smiles into invisible hands
down rabbut holes, where I found her-
hard eyes blinking shutter fast.


Lolling tongues lick spittle from
berry bright lips stretched wet
slick to bear white cracked teeth
housed side by side like surburban

Her shoulders shift like minnows.
Flash quick bright- golden pale in
the flourescent lights and I
find myself connecting her freckles
into constellations on her neck.

Elephant Graveyard

Two asphalt scuffs on rubber soles
trip tread into the black
top cracks of swing slides
swooping hard and fast

Straight shot to hop
scotch muddy knees
bent and bruised with battle
scars from reigning knights
drip drop wet splatter fist fights

Hair split tugged tossed in pig-
pony tales caught in pinch
poke fingers holding jump
rope bangle-edged glitter hoops

Pop split splat.

Broken Lines

On Thursday I dreamt
I had broken my
fist against your face
painted harlequin masks
that hung in fun
house mirror twisted
glory chains on our
stucco white-washed

It was two days ago after
noon when you
had barged
through the metal mesh
screen door,
cursing red-yellow-blue
streaks that hung like
steam clouds in your

Sunday morning
crosswords carpet kitchen
tiles, hatch-marked Tony
Award winners and
the coloquial name
for axilla coat
the hop-scotch

The night before this morning you shot
down your search light eyes,
rimmed your mouth in concrete,
and opened up a wind tunnel in your throat.