I needed to get off the road because my eyes were blurring and each blink lasted longer than the one before it and each revealed a dream. I had a boyfriend in college who theorized every dream was an alternate reality we were stealing glimpses of. The theory evolved to suggesting we never knew if we really were dreaming or awake, because we accept the logic of a dream in its moment, no matter how absurd it might seem. I told him I dreamed of turning in a paper for our philosophy class where we’d met, and I was sitting in the classroom when I realized all the words that were supposed to be italicized—the titles of books, the points of emphasis—were cast instead in bold print and I felt certain I’d flunk the assignment. He told me I was boring and broke up with me, not in the moment, but it had might as well have been because, from ten year’s hindsight, what was the difference between a second and a minute and hours and days?
Blink once, I’m with him.
Blink again, kittens surround me and I’m trying to get them all not to eat daffodils, and not to trample upon rows of them beneath a warm summer sun. To get them to be still.
i’m learning how to knit with my fingers
you’d never guess how many times
i’ve failed at failing i’m bad at talking to myself
truth is: who cares i don’t
i’m not equipped for the long haul
but i’m well i’m chasing my tail in triangles
& forcing geometry to align with my preconceived notions
of how to be a world finger knitting champion
or maybe i’ll blossom into a round slick bottomed
black & yellow honeybee haven’t i been telling you the truth for
years if i were a spider, maybe a lovely black widow
or charlotte spinning webs i wouldn’t
be a liar & this wouldn’t be debatable
everyone wants to save the bees
& kill the spiders this is all i have the binary of life & death
the good & the wicked i could finger knit you a sweater
that’s stained with my blood & you’d call it what it is: ruined
i’ve imagined what i could accomplish if i were waking up
every day & trying on new fingers
would there be a sense of urgency that is often missing (more…)
Pirate Keith, as he insisted he be called now, held the kaleidoscope to his one good eye like a nautical spyglass. Since the accident that damaged his right eye had forced him to wear an eye patch, Keith had taken to acting like a pirate in stunningly quick fashion, much to the consternation of his Protestant parents who hoped he’d someday end up a lawyer or a dentist—something respectable. But it seemed the pirate life had chosen him, so Keith embraced it with verve.
Scott sits in my house after his grandmother dies
and tells me all the ways they might sew her mouth shut
for the funeral.
There are three main ways they do it, he says.
There’s a kind of mouthguard, and a dermal punch,
or sometimes they might attach wires to the gums
to crank the mouth closed. And if none of that works,
they’ll just sew you up. Needle and thread.
Scott stares into his tea.
He’s been reading a book about mortuaries, which he recommends.
He’s learned all kinds of useful information, especially now,
with both of us considering how we would want our own mouths kept closed
when we die. (more…)
Mother Hen Mick
Jagger is most certainly
a mother figure and he’s
a mother hen
to the whole thing.
He’s not a cock-a-doodle-doo; he’s much more
like a brothel keeper—
or a madame. (more…)
When they watch the bus get sucked up into the sky most people assume it is a stunt for television, possibly a trick by that famous magician. Some people are genuinely awestruck; others, occupied with waiting for their own buses, want the stunt to finish now, please, so that they can have a little clap and then get on with their day.
When the bus does not descend, the awestruck say, wow! That’s a really good trick, to keep it up in the sky like that. Despite themselves, the impatient find that their interest is piqued once more. Some start laughing at the absurdity of it all. Others feel nervous. Others feel fear. The bus station is a veritable smorgasbord of emotion. (more…)
life’s ambiguities can be fatal
i study men & wonder when they
will unravel me, pull me to pieces
men study me & wonder why
is she so tightly wound (more…)
I love to love, but I am not good at it. My bed has seen many loves; my pillow has heard talks and tears from quiet nights with either John, Jimmy, Justin or Jane—all are blue-eyed with curly hair. The tears on the pillow are always mine. Letting go of one love conjures memories of our dinner dates, hiking days and movie nights. The bed clutters with endings and new beginnings, and each goodbye welcomes new lovers that resemble the former—blue-eyed and curly haired—my doppelgängers.
Indeed, I love to love—when I find one lover in another.
What does it mean when all we have between us
is the lap lap lap of river water against a blue cheek
the smell of minerals and fish the grit of the shore
And do you remember when you told me all you saw in me
was the void and cloudless sky— do you remember the rush of stars
on our faces and when I leaned in I whispered and you turned
and took my hand What does it mean when we emerge together
with twigs in our hair and mouths And will you rescue me
over and over again Do you promise Will you save me (more…)