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May 2021 · 157
Sinner II
Scents of rot are sweet
at first,
syrup-thick and
They linger, soft
as slime, to stain in
gentle streaks
the sunken fat of this
wrung body.
Just east of Eden
even the dirt smells of
sugar. The flies come
to pick at it. To pick at
my bones. To eat of dust.
There is too little
moisture for maggots--
Still, they try
the awful reproductive
consumption, the
drive that kept me
at these gates
kills them too, so my
body and fly
bodies and the
bodies of other
are mummified
before the lovely mirage.
Aug 2020 · 112
Eden's Gates
The doors to this
beg reverence,
yawning wide
that I might
bow my head
from silken chalice
of clavicle and skin.

I’ll come in
veil of curls,
feather-ringlets draped
to cover prayers
of tongue and teeth,
hot against the
the taste of
this garden’s
hidden seed.

Let me kneel
before the altar,
press offerings
of dampened
silk on curves
thick with myrrh,
sugar-slick and
soft as
bruised persimmon.

Eden’s gates
are opening,
tomato-red and overripe
to spill, in runnels,
a warm communion—
of my flesh
of yours.
Aug 2020 · 126
is a broken rib—
the same sharp pain,
wooden-lung breathing.
I stand alone in an
ocean of bodies,
mouthless half-faces,
gaping holes beneath
strips of cloth.
Your assumptions
dissolve me only
an un-bronchial
though still,
I am left gasping.
Jun 2020 · 117
glass eyes and
fairy eye-teeth
peep from a
fictitious smile.

Floral scent,
silk grips and
tendrils quick
accompany your
enchanting grin.

Cast it away
fey creature, lest
it haze neural maze
and I slip-stumble
into your mystic-trick
will-o-wisp gaze.
Written for the Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day Challenge created by BLT
**fictitious: of, relating to, or characteristic of fiction : imaginary
Jun 2020 · 131
This room is
a crowd in halves,
ceaseless dichotomy,
roaring in
desperate appeal.
Vilipend the words
of the other side
as they aren’t human
but voices shouting
obscenities incorrectly.
Truth, here,
is a myth
sold for millions,
and those of us who wish to
drown in the
tide of screams.
Written for the Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day Challenge created by BLT
1: to hold or treat as of little worth or account: condemn
2: to express a low opinion of : disparage
Jun 2020 · 121
Soft flesh flowers easily
tomato-red and over-ripe
to spill, in runnels,
a warm mirage.
never reach
parched lips, but
taunt and I love
the torture enough
to lick up
the dust of this
At the gates of Eden,
I thirst,
a sinner barred
from forbidden fruit.
Mar 2020 · 91
The Night Wood
Through tangled wight-lit
weald she wends, one hand
on veinous sword
For in this boscage
fiend does grow, in bile-
brimmed pustules nest.

Beware the night wood,
bladed lady, it’s paths
do twist and gambol
And hellions of the dim
do know its ev’ry
maze-cursed bent.

“Oh come to me!” she
sings out high, into
aphotic brake.
“My vein-sword fears no
devilry. No imp or
soul-baned blight.”

With ringing snick her
blade does flick, to warble
through the murk.
It’s long vein fills
with fiend-blood spilled
from conniving lurk.

Beware the night wood
bladed lady, though first
foe has fallen.
There are still miles
of treachery afore
you find your love.

The dim around her
quickly thickens, with
creatures best not named.
They have come squelching
from fetid pool, from
rotted bole and fen.

Too many for a
veinous sword swung by
skillful warrior,
though still she stands, her
shoulders square, to face
the squalling din.

“Halt!” Calls a voice of
crackling ice from grim
and toothy smile.
“I’ve come to proffer,
lady knight, a means
for your escape.

“Your maiden fair, within
my lair has pressed on
me a wager.
If in fair combat,
I take your life,
she’ll be mine forever.

“And if in turn I
am the one who falls
in ****** failure.
You’ll be hers till
end of time, your strength
ever greater.”

Beware the night wood,
bladed lady, and of
deals forged in the dark.
Though bound by word,
wise ones know, the Night King
can’t be trusted.

For quite a time the
lady hummed in careful
The night-king watched
motionless for her
tiny grim-faced nod.

Then with ringing snick
blades did flick, and warble
through the murk
and history’s greatest
battle was fought for
ghouls within the dark.

When the Night King fell
it was with
a subtle grin of triumph
As fiend applied a
black-thorn crown to
lady’s sweat-streaked brow.

The bladed lady
did achieve
her heart’s earnest goal.
She was wed, ‘neath
dripping bough to the
one she’d come to find.

But while in death, her
foe was free, she
could never leave.
From deepest copse
she still rules, Night Queen
of the night wood.
Feb 2020 · 91
You cried me a cage
or I did
until I stood behind bars
each metal rod a
feeling that wouldn’t
blossom in my breast
or one growing
in yours.
Freedom is a hairpin
******* a lock, but
it sure as hell ain’t
running away. I
had a dream
last night
standing at your
door, banging out
too-late I-love-you’s
in Morse Code. You
didn’t answer. Nursing
your pain like
dying embers.
I’d like to swallow it whole
burn blood and fat
till it melts, though
it’s kinder this way
me on my side of the pond
East of yours.
Feb 2020 · 90
Little Girl
The only person
you can save is
yourself, little
girl. Stop
playing with knives
build yourself a
room of
mirrors, find the
dark, coward
place that doesn’t
say no and
look her in the
eyes. You can’t
be molding clay
any longer, re-
forming into
distorted sculptures—
how you think they’d
like to see you. Hit the
kiln. Shore up your
edges. It’s time we
took up some
((Whit Holland challenged me to write about an ordinary object close at hand, and now I challenge you all to do the same. :) Use #knickknacks if you participate.))


Something about
seems old from
beginning and
chocolate brown
hides stains
less effectively
thank you might
surmise (cat hair
even less), but
there is something
to be said for
free when
shipping off to
a second degree.
Four roommates
(one almost
married), three
lovers (one previously
mentioned), two
states (but not that
far), and one
hard-won diploma
later, there is
still something
to be said for
free, and for
familiar and
perhaps also
for family.


In my kitchen
there sits a
small, porcelain,
vaguely oriental,
floral-patterned and
in the creases,
a ring of
bergamot brown
lining center. You
in that tea-ring,
in faded exit signs,
in owl-boxes and
bitter-sweet like
Earl Grey.


Mom says they
just don’t make
like they used to:
sturdy, thick-
woven denim
never popped a
button, but
with the sleeves
cuffed. It
doesn’t matter
how many of
wear Papa’s
old jacket, it’ll
still be here
when we’re gone.


On my little
table, between
notebook and old
lamp there sits a
perfect pinecone.
It smells a bit like
my siblings on
a fall day,
drenched in
leaf-bits, crunched
underfoot and
piled to make
walls and
beds and
pillows. We were
to live there,
beneath boughs,
beneath clouds
and dreams— maybe
one of them
why we left.
Jan 2020 · 69
Don’t Speak
The spoken word
          is a  w i l d  thing,

It                               around,

                    ping-pongs from
           tongue           to            cheek

                     knocks down

 ­                        on    its    way    


            shows up a little
            mangled, rough-

I prefer it tame,
locked safely
behind thick
pen-stroke bars
in a prison of
crisp, cream
leaves or
LED screens.

Then, with a
                 crack it’ll
jump through
hoops, balance
             leg, ride
elephant poems
to a few cheers.

I swear it
ain’t mistreatment;
you see,


Jan 2020 · 48
Time Hazed
Millennia ago, there were
engraved in this ice:
a proud brow above
hooking nose and
benevolent lips.
Slender fingers
gripping colder-
saber, one
tapered digit
lifted to point
in the direction of a
temple, now
Even the most
frozen tundra
warms over time
small degrees until
beads of water,
dripping scalpels,
carve away at
snow-flesh in
less than careful
slices. Existence
barrels ever
onwards, headless
of loss as,
eventually, all
is obscured.
Jan 2020 · 122
Manic Dreamscape Matinee
Tightrope strung
too high
above a reckless
orchestra, can’t
find a downbeat:
lost her
ictus, and the
soprano’s slipped off
the descant
stumbling drunken
dotted rhythms
in stepwise
motion just
short of lilting
Concertmaster’ll break
a string to
catch the pitch
carry a well-chewed
tune. Good boy.
miss the entrance
or you’ll tumble,
to double bars and
slide straight down a
spit-slick trombone
tuner. Wouldn’t
even mind if Ms.
French Horn
would sneak a
wink, but
we’ll get no
Picardy third
tonight, just
minor keys
and fully-diminished
Jan 2020 · 55
World’s End
If I were an
long-winged and
I would turn
towards a
three or higher,
and quell my
restless beating
in sky-whipped
fury, in
surge of
grasping, tidal
and if white-feathered
breast met the
waves, sunk
wet and stinking
into deep crevasse
then it would be
with release
for World’s
End is less a
than a
letting go.
1st Place Winner in a contest on
Jan 2020 · 123
From murk-filled
depth, the unmaker—
little death from
which all sloth
does come—
to squelch, slime-
smeared from left or
right ventricle up
capillaries to seat
of man, now
immured to a
ribbed cage,
irons round
fatted calves, while
time-gorged with
leaps not taken,
the usurper burrows
fetid tentacles into
grey velvet folds, a
sort of un-
gyrification, each
parasite hook
best removed early
lest it become
This was written for a contest on another site. There were a few prompts to choose from, each one a quote from H.P. Lovecraft. I chose two:

“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear."

“ Do not call up that which you cannot put down."
Jan 2020 · 111
Cherry Lipstick Leavings
Cherry flower
on silken down
of midsummer like
maple leaves
at carmine dawn of
falling upon a
carpet of golds.

At this blossom
festival, scents
of burgeoning
pistil are heavy
as cherry bloom
on warm
April air, though
morning brings
a premature

Lipstick in shades
of crushed petal
is leaving lips
for skin of thigh
or tangled
curls in colors
of two, a heady
Written for a contest on another site. Guidelines were to write exactly 69 words on the prompt “Cherry Lipstick.”
Jan 2020 · 133
quick nymph,
tell me a story;
teach me to
speak to the
Magic may be a
secret, gone
for the telling
but language,
she needs to breathe.

Do the beeches creak
or grumble? I’m sure
the pines are rustling
whisperers and the willow,
old weeper,
is sighing
near the oak
who admits in a moan
that times they’re
always a-changing
the sapling soon
will be grown.

sweet girl,
I’ll join you
near the babbling
river, that fool
together we’ll sing
to the ancients
within us
their knowledge
will pool. In
time our ankles
will lengthen
earth-hungry, plunge
into the ground, our
amber and gleaming
will reach
bark-clothed, sky-bound.

dear rowan,
do you remember
all that we
used to be?
Boughs tangled, roots
curled together
weave our tale
in the language of
Jan 2020 · 103
I am equal parts
woman and
an animal in
100% cotton
steeped in some
ancient anger
old as man
I ache for dirt
for scent of pine
and drum of
watch me bare
my teeth
take bites of
years left
till they drip
from my gums
Jan 2020 · 100
Concentric Rhythm
I pray to a god
called dynamism.
The moon, she keeps
my confessions—
though inconsistently
through the month—
along side the other
bodies. I
wonder if their
menstrual path
is painful or if,
like breathing,
they work to notice
the cycles. Perhaps
space moves
around them like
seasons, stars blooming
and fading,
tiny pinprick
maple leaves
in clusters, milky
All I know is that
everything changes
something it once
was, will
be again, and I
too am allowed
to have phases,
build up to finish
and fall
Jan 2020 · 103
Lux Aeterna

No one knows
like the moon
though she has none
of her own. She
bathes in it
morning after
a soak of soft
water colors
petals bleeding on
sky, gifts from a
lover she will never
meet for at the
birth of each day
the moon waves
goodbye. And at
dusk she repeats,
strophic, unending,


Born out of the
restless fog
of daydreams
and moonbeams
it manifests slowly:
inside out,
from mist and
breath and
This song is
visible, a
plush glow like
velvet, rabbit fur
soft and gentler than
a lover’s


Here there is something
old and quiet
in peaceful
day, light
both it’s cocoon
and nectar
steadfast from
golden leaves.
Challenged to write on Brian *******s Lux Aeterna by The Poet’s Voice.
Jan 2020 · 84
John Adams, Harmonium
is a tale
penned by
voices innumerable
and the cosmos
are best captured
in minimalist
Another poem on a masterpiece.
Jan 2020 · 86
Brahms 3, Mvt. III
Clouds loiter outside
equally pigment and
blurring pews strewn
with gaping song books,
silent mouths amid
sprouts of green.
Forgotten cathedral,
await the breach of
sun, her voice a
horn, pleading
to paint stone
tiles in shades
of biblical stories.
Your longing
echoes, an
ache in
felt across time
by those who
A portrait of something I love. Go listen to Brahms.
Jan 2020 · 109
(Just for fun, let’s play a game: put pen to paper or fingers to keyboards and spill out a poem, every line the first thing that pops into your head. Be as passive as possible, keep editing to a minimum and let’s see what surrealist stuff we come up with. Comment if you participate so I can read yours.)

Here is your
fog warning
you’ve lost your lenses
can’t quite make sense when
the power is out
is the feeling you feel
or temporary
nonsense neurons and
chemicals, burned up
by blood-heat
out of focus or
broken, bulging
in the kaleidoscope,
your only telescope
for sighting land.
If clarity is the
end goal I think
my arrow is flying
well off target
better adjust
my anchor point,
search for
solid ground
or maybe just
a noose to hang onto
one exquisite
corpse looking for
a mausoleum,
something sturdy
stone or metal,
Sorry, Universe,
I’m not quite
ready for any more
time in the heavens.
This place is both outside
and inside me
not heavy but
still waters broken by
moon glow and an
old pier, a bit
worn and lonely
so let’s lay there
upside down
until the horizon
looks like a snow globe
waiting for someone
to shake it
and send us
tumbling, a pleasant
nausea like
or rollercoasters.
Jan 2020 · 49
The holes in my
hands and feet
are tied with string
to wooden shackles
and I walk
gripping the
tether— drag one hand
then one foot
all joints and
weak knees
pull up my head
by threads spun
of fallen hair
dry and flaking
to bob on
this limp neck—
bones but
no filament—
and though
every limb is
I walk on.
Dec 2019 · 341
I hope I smell
like green things
earthy, growing
damp and pungent
after rain
the scent of
myself in
amounts, always
a little new.
Dec 2019 · 130
We All Rot
We all
ballooning into
dust husks
flesh slip-dripping
from bone
after a life
marked by
nails torn
clawing to some
false ideal we
cannot agree on.
We all
drenched in the
slime of our
mothers’ bodies and
to struggle,
mottled and
to gorge our
animal natures.
a few roads
may diverge
in this yellow-tinged
wood, but
let’s not pretend
they don’t all lead
in the same
Dec 2019 · 154
On the night
the sky caught
bordered on both
sides by black—
cumulus and
wind-torn bay—
you told me
I was becoming
to you and
sugar welled up
warm and sticky
to glue this tongue
to its bed.
My mouth
is molasses so
I’ll write instead
about the heat
of your hand
on my thigh.
Dec 2019 · 368
At the Zoo
part of you
for me anyway
will always be there
on a light and
tumble journey
watching me
watch your lashes
paint zebra stripes
down your cheekbones.
we’ll run from budgies
and make friends
with otters
out-stretched, grinning
tickling the noses
of long-necked
ungulates and
hunting for imaginary
creatures between
for Audrey
Dec 2019 · 113
the sun sets on
choppy waters
littered with wet, black
bodies and
tell me the moon is
tugging on the sea
while I think
the tide is coming
in and only later
do I realize
how beautifully
how quickly, it seems
you have become my
perfect day
for Audrey
Dec 2019 · 832
Time plays games
with me and
          she’s been winning
On an off-kilter axis,
Atlas, the world is spinning
a little too fast

It’s been months
already since I
          shed my masks

still somehow I’m surprised
it doesn’t show
how bright
I am
newborn it’s-a-baby-girl pink
                                                       (ar­e you excited?)
smooth skin meets the
peeling away scales grown
denying myself

You promised, Momma,
you’d never be embarrassed
how could you be
I mean
I am new-born-baby-girl pink
light and airy          
                          not so sure
                          its a sure thing
                          you’ll see


the truth is that I
don’t have to
open my mouth
               to be

                            and somehow

that makes it all

              a little

I name you Pygmalion
because between
my skin and delusion
you have carved
an ivory woman. You
have carved her
with your eyes. But
for all your looking,
you can’t see, little
blind man, that
I have no need
of Aphrodite’s blessing.
In the strength
of my spine
and the flash
of my teeth
and the skill
of my hands, hands
you did not hew,
I hum with
power, ferociously
The only thing of mine
you will ever be king of,
King Pygmalion,
is the likeness
you sculpt
in your dreams.
4 Dec 2019
Dec 2019 · 160
Sterile-cold and smelling
slightly of antiseptic
two leather half-moons
press into the crests
of your cheekbones.
The lenses click
swirling in their sockets
cover first one eye
and then the other.
Can you read the
writing on the wall?
Lovely lotus eater
swallowing desire or
wallowing in an advert
you’ve reached a
new peak
you are the epitome
the consummate consumer.
Your new glasses
may compliment your
but they won’t
help you see.
4 Dec 2019
Dec 2019 · 297
Let’s go for a swim,
love. Its high tide
waves rising through
these sheets.
We’ll make like
denizens of the sea;
lips opening and closing
air bursting through the gaps
and our hair tangling
together in the current
two sirens
without a ship in sight.
Underwater, I can
hardly hear your sighs
but I know what your
body says when
fish-like it becomes
one band of muscle
from the line of your jaw
to the curling hooks
of your toes.
Let’s float to the shore,
love. At low tide
when the ebbing keeps
rhythm with a heartbeat
we’ll drown with
our mouths open
drinking in the pink-
scented atmosphere.
2 Dec 2019
Nov 2019 · 198
The Alps
I have, throughout my life,
often been beset with a sort of
a longing located
deep within my
shoulder blades for
wide white wings with which
to fly high away
from this world
and all it's little troubles.

Never before have I been so
afflicted than as I sit
in view of the world's walls,
these wide wild mountains.
It is as if I cannot
bear the thought
of being unable to touch
something so much greater
than my self.
July 2017
Sep 2019 · 666
A Toast
I wear many faces.
Skull-grin stiff and smiling,
they present a kaleidoscope,
a re-fractured, glass-shattered
symbolic representation.
Here’s to piecing it all together,
to the hope that one day
the snake-skin masks
will all shed.
Sept 2019
May 2019 · 603
Freedom (n.):
the position of being on top.
untouchable, untouched by
Oppression is a tool;
govern bodies to
subdue too-loud
voices of reason.
17 May 2019
Apr 2019 · 262
I think fear
is like a newborn, swaddled
in blood and ***** cloths, cradled
in the curvature of a rib cage. It
flourishes when coddled, time-gorged,
replete with leaps not taken.
April 2019
Apr 2019 · 3.4k
Self Love
Your curls are Gulf Coast weather,
rarely cloudless and sunny, each
frustrating loop a messy
ice-cream scoop cascade.
They look like a love affair,
as ***-centered as your star sign,
too-friendly, sunday-sensuous,
meandering into ***** knots.
Every sweet-floral-fruity
custard you toss them in
is as well deserved as the
satin on your lashes and the
salve that slicks your
orbicular body.
April 2019
Apr 2019 · 602
The precipice smells of gasoline;
perturbation proceeds the drop and I
am yet too sticky to fly.
On the verge of awakening,
the dark chrysalis has formed around me
in too-thick ropes of viscous feeling
and if I could but break through
the sun might once again
dry my wings.
April 2019
Apr 2019 · 3.2k
This silk is eager for damp skin.
It clings greedily to the peaks of
your topography, obscuring, like
fog, only the depressions.
I am a basin filled with fluid,
eager to capsize,
to spill out over this tile floor
like so much vanilla bath water.
At your heat, I boil.
I billow out from beneath
cream and sugar taffeta
with the whispered sigh of
softly hissing steam and
in tendrils, my tempestuous
mist and moisture form
settles lightly into your
April 2019
Apr 2019 · 206
Feather Dreams
From between the tendril-thin roots of a silver sapling, they burst forth from the earth, first beaks and black-bead eyes, unblinking. They hap-dash scrabble from clinging dirt, swiveling, twitching curious little heads and shaking dark wings to clear them of any dust. Then, one-by-one,  they hop-skip forward and shoot up in graceless flight to soar between glass towers that reverberate with their raucous cries, until the flawless mirror-pane shatters and falls, tinkling, back into the realm of dreams.
Jan 2019

Spoken Word. Written to accompany one of the movements of Spirit of Ink by Alan Hovhaness.
Apr 2019 · 2.7k
On a slow summer evening,
cherry-stained and giggling,
I sit on one side of the porch and
you both on the other though
it is going to take you two, with
your green eyes and red fingers like
chapstick or popsicles, 100
days in a fast space ship to reach me.
Hopefully the cherries you’re bringing
along won’t spoil before you arrive
on my alien planet (alien though
you share more of my
molecular makeup than any others)
and in return I’ll show you some new
creation but in all fairness I should
be thanking you for who I am
because it was, after all,
you two who shaped me.
Feb 2017
Apr 2019 · 356
Cypress Roots
Diffidently, so as not to disturb the silence,
I dip dripping paddles into the distorted image
of blue-broken green above my head,
each quiet splash sending my little vessel
flying across this peaceful mirror sky.

Beneath the moss-draped canopy, all is still,
heat-oppressed and thick with clinging moisture while
reed-throated and washboard-legged insects
spill their lullabies into the laden air
just for my thin-blooded heart to hear.

Before me stretches dark mystery,
possibly shallow, possibly deeper than I imagine,
murky liquid hiding the algae-cursed treasure
of some forgotten Spanish explorer, to whom
these still waters would have seemed so alien.

To me, this place is as familiar as the distant peals
of treble laughter that awaken memories
of my not-so-distant past, more simple and refreshing
than the drops sliding down the browning skin
of my arms as I work to pull myself forward.
Aug 2018
Apr 2019 · 190
It doesn’t matter whether the sun breaks free of its night-time prison in a glorious conflagration of pink and yellow or if it approaches coldly in wan white and pale blue, the birds will up and announce its coming as soon as light wakes them from their arboreal sleeping places. Either way, they do not sing of our star’s beauty because there is enough color on each of their feathered ******* to inspire symphonies. Instead, they only call out a discordant cry that is later echoed by the two-legged inhabitants of this earth: “Look at me, look at me, look at me.”
Jan 2019

Spoken Word. Written to accompany one of the movements of Spirit of Ink by Alan Hovhaness.
Apr 2019 · 163
I feel the dense fleece
of drowsy slumber
start to oppress this mind
already shrouded by the red smells
of spice and skin.

by the strong, duple thrum,
my mind lies
in delicious stupor.
The anxious buzz that often invades
my most sacred spaces
is blessedly silent.
March 2017
Apr 2019 · 211
If Summer is fervor,
Winter is truth.
Black, naked branches
having shed at last
the changeful gowns
they donned in spring.

Wind, that wild white animal,
bites to get my attention.
It lays all bare
in urgent whispers
if only one listens
to those clear, cold words.

Uncomfortable reality
haunts white frosted dreams
and disturbs silent slumber,
but I will be honest
like grey, empty Winter
and bare, blighted branches.
Jan 2017
Apr 2019 · 215
How do they do it, those who stumble through life
as if blind? Caught in their blissful
delusion, bumping into others,
unaware of the ripples or floods caused
by their passage. Here I present to you the
Common Man, as profound and prolific as a
****, sometimes harmless, sometimes choking,
a blinkered horse spooked into running,
unguided by the reins of consideration.
How do they speak and kiss and mock without
feeling the feelings they create in
those they drunkenly stumble into?
These are the real life-livers,
the treasure hunters, the junkies addicted to
pleasure, lust, excitement. These thoroughbreds
can’t be bothered to slow for thought when
all that matters is winning more.
Feb 2017

— The End —