Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
Write in stanzas. Think in stanzas.
Speak in stanzas. **** your routine.
Sleep less. Go to work drunk.
Yell at inanimate objects. Yell with
inanimate objects. Fly your mother to
San Francisco (coach) and watch the
house for her, the dogs, the child, the
drunk. She is your mother.

You do not like your job. Spend
your days beneath an apple tree and
spend your workdays eating apples
in any given weather. Lie on the floor
of your bedroom belly-flat and smell
the carpet beneath you, all dead flakes
of skin and dog fur, sinew strand of
hair, black dots—tar or shoe-gum or
something other.

Think on your place. Reach to the left,
your side table with glass of water and
lampshade. Feel the hilt, small knife for
your pocket, small pocket. Free the blade,
feel the grooves, gold and blacked-brushed
blade you bought with a flask, a set, two
tiny commodities that may serve you well
in the wild or a shopping mall, what ever
little evils exist away from your bedroom
with its television and soft blankets, slow
mortal shuffle and modicum.

Stop and breathe. Feel the heart in its
always-patter. Know it will stop.
Not fret, no, only knowing.
Nov 2015 · 1.2k
Taxation with Form
I have not changed in years (it seems),
     physically I am constant,
six feet and lopping sack of
     bone and skin, buck-forty
on my best, wettest day.

These months have flown as
     leaves in fall.
November is come and soon
     will escape with the wind
as well and I am solidly planted
     at a desk in an office with a
floor too hard to deepen the reach
     of my roots.

I am like to wither and rot,
     left rootless in snow and
ice; ash of autumn, flowerless.
     The trees will die—grounded,
yes, and utterly passionless.
Oct 2015 · 369
Almost everything is okay as the leaves are changing.
I am seeing the season take shape and not
neck-deep in ironic rambling of how
this happens every year.
It does, but it is never the same.

Autumn is the briefest season.
My car has broken down and I will not
be able to drive myself to work come winter.
Fall moves faster still. Red-orange canvas of
trees becoming leafless and I am too entangled
in people. I save my errant gaze for next year,
another season.

It tastes of auburn and cool mornings and smells
like summer in retrospect, as though I never noticed
in full bloom, only after. I have problems focusing on
the surrounding world as it plots and plods.
I go along. I am occupied.
She has changed the color of her hair,
soft brown to blue-black.
She smells of leaves falling, of
cold nights and fires to burn.
She is my favorite season.
Mar 2015 · 407
So pointless, still starting sentences with
and as though I am curtailing from
previous profundity into present thought.

Silly, still. Finally I have found
inspiration in the smallest places,
skin-deep moments, echoes.
Feb 2015 · 452
Haiku #025
Base instinct betrays
graymatter, brain left grazing,
gutted by daybreak.
Feb 2015 · 1.9k
Plate Tectonics
Bend at the waist
be a doll, doll,
dance your *** down
this way, my way
into sentiment, burning
images onto the brain
you can't get away.

Bend babe, shake or
shiver as you please
let lethargy melt into
unkempt smiles, deep
dimples of face-skin
softened in sweet sun ray.

All the people in the street.
Where are they going, and
what does that mean in the
end-times, the ever-present hour
of a dying world's last breaths,
here for sole reason of shepherding
the sheep, because you're a wolf
are you not?

Miles above the weeping masses,
holding it together with barely
a grip to give name; coping
they call it, accepting reality as
objective, something separate from

I imagine the world as a bubble
and I hold the pin-needle, too close
to body to alarm and too close
to bubble to bat away, bend
please, bend at wrist for sake of
sanity, bury yourself neck-deep in
chance. Bend babe,
bend away.
Searching for answers as to
why I'm so alone is like locating
the holy grail in sand-ravaged
desert, like rationalizing human
action, like taking delicacy
with a grain of salt.

I have turned depression into self-
fulfilling prophecy, so many days wasted
on loathe and pestilence, resisting change,
shutting out what I perceived
to be white noise.

I am drunk during this writing,
This is not medicine, let it be known.
Nor emulation, for simple fact that
I am whole, a whole thing,
silently splitting its ends.
Four walls and one door
maintaining (perfectly) in-tune
with the outside world,
countless libraries and braver
brains in court, fingertips

Too much sometimes, too much
noise and sleepless racket,
no need for hotel wifi or
roaming minutes, change nowadays
burns faster than

I woke today to find
bombshells exploding elsewhere,
slaughtered innocents and
captives in bright silver fences
until the next time I
read about it.

My brain is spent running in
slow-motion. I have glasses now,
my vision once was perfect but
staring at screens beat biology
to the punch: a most frightening
Feb 2015 · 288
Haiku #024
In those brief places
of prompt and pause, is it truth
if I am smiling?
Feb 2015 · 3.5k
By book-ends my stomach is churning,
I'm cantankerous and stand-offish
in spurts, barely there in others.
I could not dig up where my head was
if I had to. I do not have to.
There are some things in my life that
lead themselves to failure. I have dropped
instinct, instead adopting pattern,
a means of coping with the endlessness
of life in a globalized world.
This is not lament. I could part with
objectivity, happy to expire for a
scrap of extra sentience. Please, before
my words become manners and manners become
holes full of dirt, pardon me for the mess.
I only had so much time after all.
Jan 2015 · 757
I've lent myself to self
parody. I am yellow grass
in summer. So easy to see
in daylight, split-rays.

Again I stumble through the
door too closely, nose grazing
siding too rough, not fit for
suburban living.

I am outside now, cigarette in lungs
almost empty of airspace. Tight
breath, silt sinew of exhale and
burning, eyes painted in panic.

Four smokes in, cherry blossom
cheeks, a rosary of liquor, perhaps
lending myself to sanity,
a bright morning in autumn.
Jan 2015 · 1.6k
Dust to Dust
He paints his ashtray
alkaline blue,
a petty tip-of-the-hat to
harbingers of evil,
men between men and
women sitting aside,
head bobbed
in embarrassment.

What have we become which
normalized gestures do not

His alkaline blue ashtray
trading dust for roach buds
and where is he off to,
brain sorting sentiment with
barred numbers, statistics,
inaccessible phenomena.
Pains to say most often he is
wandering in the wings
flapping for attention.

How humanity must suffer
in the name of

He and his
alkaline blue ashtray
skitter across the landscape
(a da Vinci,
a Mona Lisa)
again in apathy to watch
petty tip-of-the-hat prisoners
wag thumbs and call
each other names.

In the end of things,
reason does not prevail.

The dust is all.
Comes to pass my picture of the Middle East
(one minute and twenty one seconds of television news,
          much less than I had thought)
is an inaccurate representation of people
and the individuality of their experience.

How does one measure the merit of
I am offended?

If all I know are snapshots, misdirecting
the issue, changing path to digest murdered cartoonists
killed with Allah in mind
          (another misdirection)
and I am not outraged.

Sadness manifests as thick fog
blocking artificial light, splitting the rays,
opening up and flexing, the truth as is,
the sole truth we must attain;
          we are slow, dying creatures.
Inborn freedoms dissolve.

Did Salman Rushdie beg forgiveness for
images of his head book-ending a spear,
or did he die a little in secret?

Suppose I am a rouser marching the streets of
New York City, a gold pendant of two
          falling towers adorning
my chest-cave, Je Suis etched into my forehead
(black felt-tip).

Do you defend me?
Relish in your torment of words?

Will you bury the fire in your belly
for sake of freedom?
Dedicated to Dr. Clifford-Napoleone, for teaching me no reality rises above any other.
Jan 2015 · 990
Lincoln, Nebraska (pt. IV)
Before I went my way
I was unsure if my car tire popping
constituted omen or bad luck.
That is the frame of mind I was in
leaving Lincoln.

Now I realize most of this is temporary
distraction, soon Nebraska passes and
Missouri remains, as it always has.
One year later I will change my college major,
theatre to sociology.

Lincoln taught me lessons, not
all of them important. I found true solace
in watching others, why they walk like that,
what their hair says about their politics,
microbes erupting into civilization.

Leaving Lincoln behind was so remarkably
necessary in its devices. I will always
make time for my thoughts, my seasons,
thanks to the dull, blinding cold of

Lincoln, Nebraska.
Jan 2015 · 441
Haiku #023
Hot breath, twist and bend,
bite down soft, release, linger,
teeth scraping new skin.
Jan 2015 · 1.4k
Funnelmouth VII
Picture the word Devastation.
What do you see?
Bodies in a motorcycle accident.
Buildings of fire falling.

But that is not it,
it cannot be. Picture the word

                                            ­          What do you see?

I see something so unbelievably

Devastation must mean my own life
in wreckage. A body in a
motorcycle accident.

                                                        A jump from a
                                                        burning­ building.

I cannot divulge how deeply
this is seared in my thoughts.
Picture the word


Picture the word Love.
What do you see?
Picture the word Devastation.
What do you see?

Are you surrounded?
Only a few?
Are you alone?
Do you want to be?

There is no shame in any answer.
I do not press my morality on others
but we must, must believe that.
There is no shame in any answer.
Jan 2015 · 436
Lincoln, Nebraska (pt. III)
In Lincoln
two times I was drunk
one only slightly.

I was lonelier than I'd
ever been. I hope I never feel
that way again.

Three times I felt alone.
More times I was sick to my stomach.
I do not regret a single second.
Jan 2015 · 431
Lincoln, Nebraska (pt. II)
Eyes can't help but follow
long hair in long coats
wind shaking the strands like
snowflakes, their own little patterns.

The cinemaplex is open,
negative seventeen degrees Fahrenheit and
someone is still making money.

Wrapping around a blocked-off
manhole I turn the corner too quickly,
bump into a homeless man and his chair.
He asks if I've any change.
I say No, my pockets are empty.

Inner monologue firing, always,
I cop the corner and take a moment to my
physical self, ask it questions, How are you?
You've been a slight bit distant during this time.
Do you miss home?

I'm not sure I've found a home to miss.
Jan 2015 · 2.1k
Basquiat: An Essay, part one

I am often attracted to things unhinged. Not necessarily (traditionally) romantic, more akin to an unwillingness to ask permission, one who might say It was never your permission to begin with and not be angry or upset about having to say it. Few are so willing to evaluate situations without the overwhelming cloud of emotion. Judgment fully withheld, kind banter catching wind. A needed immediacy.

Jean-Michel Basquiat was aware of the past. He pretended to not care if you did not like his paintings. Part of him was upset some people did not understand. Basquiat strangled history down to basics: music, culture, society (not the same thing), generations of family after family. His point was not for you to obtain this. This was his conscience—tangible. Brain processing. Synthesizing. To him it was so simple. I refuse the word primal because it is misguided, it does not factor purity, clarity. Sugar Ray Robinson told Basquiat to stop painting the background. Tuxedo told Basquiat what words to place and where.

So much of my art is stripped and lucid and enacted with only me in mind.
Jan 2015 · 640
Should the ache dull,
consummate the liver,
fulfill desire,
I refuse to stop it.

I keep feeling the whole day in one pinch.

Perhaps writing should not render in burst
format as it ****** and rots.

Rothko knew pain was art because to Rothko
it was all art.
He would not budge, stood stooped in
knee-deep-scarlet splash-stained denim
begging all to see the colors through him.

Rothko paints mountains with pulses in
red rectangles.
Jan 2015 · 7.2k
Estimate tells us the avg. height
of a female in the U.S. is 64 inches.
This is quantitative. Unfeeling of prospect,
the numbers fascinate and baffle.

Recent estimation supposes
1500 active volcanoes on the earth of which
500 have erupted since history,
the invention of writing.

                                                       ­                Such a short time ago.

Measuring in quantities, the earth is
4.5-4.6 billion years old.
Creatures of like sentience who never wrote about
volcanoes, the age of their earth.

Quantities hum of something borrowed.
So tight-wound, so deeply close, and yet still.

                                                         ­               Something not ours.
                                                                        Blind, free of invention.
Jan 2015 · 343
Haiku #022
Sat in silent place
hop-pulse-pounding my feet in
ecstatic motion.
Jan 2015 · 250
Funnelmouth VI (pt. II)
Little tiny objects like cigarettes can
**** you. Not sure

                    I know this
                    or if

forgetting is a coping tactic. It's best to
put the things I most forget on paper
because writing burns into the

I can't be sure who told me.
No, I can't remember.
Jan 2015 · 1.1k
His manner of walking
I am walking for escape
Silence, darkness

It is sudden. Sound of
two-by-fours smacking grain
lit up in the distance,
                       the street

Maternal scream mistaken for
coyote howl, sticky-tongued
lamentation filling the space,

Grey matter spilling
the street for a
beggar's mouthful

I could make known my notice
Or leave his peace at asphalt
rocking skull-bone;

marrow cut loose: free
This is a poem in progress; any feedback (form, imagery, et al.) I could get would be amazing.
Dec 2014 · 421
Because my head hurts
Nothing I make of words can ever be confused with beautiful because I don't see beautiful things, only things in tandem, stuck between, feverish and naked as my burning brain substitutes ******* for dead protesters. This is a sickness I will not grow out of; I cannot say I want to grow because I do not want, I am a mind in a hollow shell which I keep beating with toxins that will **** me sooner than most. I do not care if you read this. This is not for you. This is not about you. It is always, will always, be about me. That is as close to happy as I will be. When did my poetry become so self-serving: I have turned art into work, art for the sake of speaking literally about my conscience and how are you still reading? I am not talking to you. This is not poetry but narcissistic whining and who doesn't love wallowing in the endless sea of their own *******. One thing: When I am dead, do not say I am gone. I have gone nowhere. I have been the only place I will ever be; a brain in a skull in a body, every second I know trapped in crawling skin. Do not say I am gone. I was never really here to begin with.
Dec 2014 · 463
Haiku #021
So ******* heavy-
handed that I cannot put
anger into words.
The purest of pure irony in that
we live to die, this is endgame,
nothing reminds us about life more so than
death. And so we fear, because we
do not know the result of the thing,
only the thing. Humans who assume too
much makes for messy subtext.

If I could pop open my skull,
find the part of my brain so often
mistaken for the heart, and ask it
a question, do you think it would
have the courage to respond?
Am I a soul, or is this brain and
its infinite connectivity capable of
fooling itself so deeply? I side with
the latter, not for depression,
but truth.

My poems sound like mindless simplicity.
They are poems because I call them such.
**** what the editor says.
Dec 2014 · 508
Funnelmouth (VI), pt. I
Imagine burning by fire,
hustled bones piling up, a sanctum
seeped in dust.
It his here where I compartmentalize
the fire, its embers and heat
stacked neatly on hotbed coals, a flame with
labels, numbers, a name.

I keep the space neat and airy,
I have room for all of the fires
as well as some extra storage
yet to have a specific set purpose.
In this room of fire I read
constantly. I am currently on Marx, and
my next read is Durkheim's
Suicide, which is much less strenuous
than one would believe, having been
familiar with Durkheim but
not his work. All of this clatter and

The fires remain lit, I have no need
to run the heater this winter.
Fire, in all its compartments,
organized and labeled as it is,
and still, with my world in such a state,
I cannot hold fire in boxes.
I am blindly adding fuel.
Suicide, Émile Durkheim's 1897 study on suicide rates among Protestants and Catholics in France, was a groundbreaking work in the field of sociology.
Dec 2014 · 522
Haiku #020
Is narcissism
an excuse for worshipping
my own handwriting?
Dec 2014 · 418
Bed Bugs
I can get over the face in the mirror.
In fact I kind of like it, bunched and
furrowed in thoughts, wet webs of contempt.

I wonder if I'd be a good father.
It doesn't take much to show up.

How am I going to tell my step-dad
my grades ******* blow this semester?
These are the
important questions.

How will I tell this futuristic child
St. Nicholas died in the 4th century CE?
Is telling him/her a bad thing, or
is there somehow more fun in that?

I've caught myself treating twitter profiles
like messiahs, without the martyr.
Those two lines sound very self-serving
because I don't write sarcasm well.
I've found coherence to be tedious
and boring and that's barely it.

Most sad poems are also
beautiful because they are pure,
untainted and untouchable, some
golden pendant forged of
***** not given.

If I have a son.
If he has my face, my mind.
He will be sad. He will not know why.
He will be an artist. But he will not just create. He has to learn.

You cannot make a thing without first
taking a thing away.
You said he was skinny and sagging
and he wore a sad face for show.
I feel as though I am the man
in your nightmare.
I can't tell you to wake up.
Dec 2014 · 764
Lincoln, Nebraska (pt. I)
Hearts sparse in this carpark,
the wind feeling rowdy, biting like a
small rabid animal with no collar
wandering the city alone at night.

The car is making me claustrophobic,
I've spent far too much time with the heat,
too many minutes burning cigarettes and
my hands near-numb from the caffeine.

Poems are less like action movies and
more like action paintings exploding
in suspended motion. I'm sure we all
remember when art felt new. I can't
recall when it didn't feel so lived-in.

(And of course this poem is merely
a memory of feelings, which is not much
of anything to me or you because the past
is dry and done and does not intrude.

Lincoln, Nebraska is a livelier city
than one expects. It is like going to an
art exhibit expecting Rothko and getting
Basquiat, bombast and immediacy.

My favorite poet is Craig Morgan Teicher
because he and I may ramble but he is not
afraid to sacrifice accessibility for
feeling. He could find the beauty in the
image of Lincoln, Nebraska in January.

I will soon need to devise another way
to keep myself entertained so let us
say this CD spins one more time and
maybe I can go for a walk, clear my head.

I do not intend this to be wrought with
sentiment, but there are times I am not
as cold as this city. There are times
the mind must scream
so the heart stays safe.
I spent a week in Lincoln, Nebraska in January of this year.
Dec 2014 · 631
I do not intend my poetry to be
inaccessible and yet I refuse to shower
this recycled verse in pretty words
to distract from disinterest in my own life
and the things I surround.
Dec 2014 · 262
Haiku #019
Wait a day and pray
your god forgets sins confessed
under influence.
Dec 2014 · 1.6k
Duccio's Maestá
And now we see the singularity
of the artist, wrists spread bare on
mimed canvas, finally we see
his consistency.
Lazarus is dead on the first day.
Gold background, rocky outcrop,
sense of cluttered space.
Do you see the decay?
Can you sympathize, or do you notice?

I cannot sympathize with Duccio,
I am too vain to admit his Maestá
survives while my brain rots from
alcohol. But I remember Duccio is
at least fifty years old when his Maestá
preeminently destroys my career
as a visual artist. I do not mind.

Lazarus is dead on the second day.
Duccio had many pupils, among them
Simone Martini, whose Annunciation
is a cropped rehash of Byzantine/Gothic
flopped with Duccio's handy flair,
a pious reverence and virtue.
It sweeps and moves. Or attempts.
Lazarus is no longer sleeping.

I have never been to the city of Florence,
not now nor the 1300s, so I need not
explain my lack of comprehension.
Lazarus has risen now,
but it is different than I remember.
Lazarus is all alone, and
Lazarus is alive,
doomed to walk in mortal Hellfire
a second time over.
Dec 2014 · 722
Funnelmouth (V)
I wish I could write poems of distraction. I sit all day in rooms and there are times I am outside and it feels unnatural. I am curious to the state of my insides. Sleep is not reliable. Dreams are not patient.

It is night and it is cold, and as I look up to stare at stars and planets I see car crashes. Orion totalled by a Chevy Cobalt. A pickup dislodging each dipper and sending them reeling to infinity, smacking empty space.

Cold nights are cleansing. I need more time to think. There is so much to be thought, isn't there, so much potential just floating around, pathless, empty. The season will not change for a while. I must build a fire and warm myself.
Dec 2014 · 2.1k
Funnelmouth (IV)
(stopping here to tell you about my first
******* because it was terrible &
the one thing I remember most vividly,
a pock under her left eye
marking my shame & confusion &
this portion of the poem is a lie)
Dec 2014 · 389
Funnelmouth (III)
How many days until tomorrow
(& do not bolster me—I know the day is long)
because tomorrow I promised something
to myself, a sort of present for the hard work
of not repeatedly ramming my skull into a pack of
venture capitalists & I'm pretty sure I could take
the Koch brothers in a fight even though I am the minority &
Fox News killed racism just as MSNBC killed watchable TV &
all of this is so incredibly unimportant because
I saw the sun born of yesterday's ashes
the rebirth of light as so many slept & dreamed
but I do not dream, no, I do not wander so far away.
I think I hold my world closer than that.
Dec 2014 · 477
Funnelmouth (II)
A Jim-Davies-esque poster cartoon of my guts
on display at the Smithsonian as though
I could pretend to be any other poet
with my insides outstretched because
I cannot feel without cohesion or medication or
either, or—
it's lost upon synchronization.

I hear some wormy **** gobbling
(insanely might I add)
about Marx or Engels or one or both twice over.
I'm too busy trying to impress myself with this
Jenga block tower of carefully balanced fibs to notice
why you cry when the sun sleeps.
I don't exactly care so much as it intrigues me.
Another feeling stimulating what's lost.
I imagine sunshine & weep.
Dec 2014 · 403
Funnelmouth (I)
I thought before this writing I might
tear out this paper & roll up
give me some numb for the numbers &
no one is asking how I've been sleeping but
my words caught my urge mid-rip & said
You are so sad and not even you know why.
Blisters on your tongue from bottle-bottoms
chasing a rising air bubble running for life.
Copperhead, half-thing,
whole-brain, funnelmouth,
throwing bricks from bedroom windows hoping to
hit my head at the end of flight, free-fall.
I forget a few times daily how much animal
seeps past this face & I have not been outside this head
since who knows when & I just want it to—
Candy canes for teeth and I am indifferent.
The television smiles for me, red-white-mint lit
in the faded glow of almost-morning.
They would almost certainly mourn for me.
I have to keep believing that is true.
I am funneling and it will not stop.
Dec 2014 · 896
Haiku #018
PSA: please set
aside time today to hug
a gay narcissist.
Dec 2014 · 288
Franz Lehár
However long spent staring & you've yet to move your feet.
Ten yards of breathable space, scent of honey or lemon,
I can't remember.

                                        Her walk, his walk.
                                        Why spoil the fun?

The ****** falls from the branch almost always,
then so too will I fall I feel—less gravity
in headspace, room for words to float.

                                        Step one, step two
                                        Step 3 step 4

& they move like wine together & here I am
up to my neck in blood-tainted water.
No TV show has ever felt like this.

                                        How many cities burn
                                        for sake of
                                        love & death?

I want to build a city of her living bones
magnificent skyscrapers dance with the
slightest gust of my breath—

                                        I send
                                        that city
                                        shaking. They
                                        are waltzing

Lehár's The Merry Widow.
The irony cuts holes in my veins.
Oct 2014 · 397
Haiku #017
Chicken-scratch staining
this prescription glass grasping
on getting life back.
I'm too juiced for this **** this
can't look out the
windshield **** this is
the type of **** I usually avoid
'cause I can never wrap my brain
'round tight enough to think past

acoustic encoding all ****** & raucous
retinas not working
corneas not working
pupil sized up like puberty
and I say
        let her spin *******

Because I've never sensed like this
it's something new &
something old but I'm here for the first
and I would love to leave soon
          but just let me hang on
          for a second longer

'till my brain shuts the **** up.
Oct 2014 · 493
Haiku #016
Trees bent in, sobbing,
weeping as mists have weeped like
summer rains gone sour.
Oct 2014 · 513
Fall, Winter
Some fresh scent of drowned leaves
crackled into autumn & I am
born again into daylight, breeze
playing with my tangled mess of head
still dancing like soft summer shadows
on the concrete & the basketball goals.

It is no longer hot. I do not sweat
near as much as usual &
cold sticks to night like thistle &
I am awake again & almost praying.

I wish for fall to yield to spring.
I wish this slowness away.

Let me reconstruct.
I am always in winter.
Sep 2014 · 540
Haiku #015
Steadfast reminding
me all good plays are written
one line at a time.
Aug 2014 · 458
Haiku #014
Boys & books & long
lines of bone-dry rosebush &
all of it burning.
He craved a father like a burnout
licking his sugarcane eyes &
slapping them on
any surface they'd stick &

he called night The Kingdom
would wander off for ages
said I don't need to know
where I'm goin'

said Someday I'll have already
found it
& maybe he's right
All people die a little
more in daylight

he was 16
a dry firecracker
one spark away
from infinite eruption
Aug 2014 · 487
a dish containing my bones
& several vital organs
laid to rest on a bed
of colander and sage

a pretty platter
a selfless oblation

one hopes a gift of such
heart might be atoned
& wrapped in a cocoon
& sent away to float the sea

my insides ravaged
my restitution complete
Next page