All birds are dead.
There are no birds here.
as the women grind grain in their mortars
i kneel nearby.
watching them scrub the grain sand smooth
my organs feel too hot
so hot and it hurts and
i want to perform harikari
just to let out the heat
just a quick slice across my belly
just to cool off my steaming intestines
my blankets are breathing
i pick my scab over and over
i pick my scab over and over
i pick my scab over and over
keep your eyes open
maybe we'll make these
it sounds like he's blooming
that sounds lovely
She's on the couch with her eyes open lips open legs open
She just kinda appeared
That's what we want of course
these are not Truths
-these inner workings- these vulnerable selves-
integrated with what is, was, might have been, will be, could be-
half the story is never even told-
she keeps on writing-
one of the lights above me flickers
The train tracks have slipped under the loose sand.
Up in the tree, I watch people I'll never meet go by.
memories get distorted based on who you are now
turning life into language
the dark secret(s)
in the sky, a thousand moons
you're like a lunar eclipse
giving off this feeling of
are we alive?
i realized why i like to wear so many clothes
because if i wear enough it feels like someone is hugging me
when the tiger dies, it leaves its skin
when you die, you leave nothing
what did you wish for?
I ran over some rain yesterday
The world is a different place when it is night
That is where we should find
i was driving in the middle of nowhere going home through the free-range cow farm
and there was this mexican guy sellling oranges in the middle of nowhere, i felt bad for him
and he had a rainbow beach umbrella
it's like that old man in ghost world waiting for the bus that never comes
then at the end it does
more derek c.
When I was in kindergarten I caught a praying mantis.
And then a kid squished it in half on purpose, and it was alive from the waist up.
Then I had a nightmare it grew huge and killed the entire class.
From a conversation with Derek C.
apoyando el valle como una taza
llenas de la raza
My friend and I made our own lotería cards. This was mine. The mountains.
She wanted me
to be inside her
so I fed her my poems
and she swallowed.
We ditched school that day to drive to LA to find her real dad.
We stayed in the desert and she got her **** pierced instead.
She gained ten pounds of muscle the summer she worked in Alaska.
She’d have that slight tone for the rest of her life –
a glimmer when she flexed to stock shelves at Vons the next year or to take a turkey out of the oven or to climb a ladder or to carry her sleeping daughter fifteen years later.
A flashing tight tendril of muscle in her triceps.
Their house was
Pressing your nose into the crackling spine of an ancient novel –
Coarse pages and the small warmth of unraveling vanilla.
But there was another smell too, around the edges.
One that made it a different story.
A smell like rotten apples hidden somewhere years before
A heart-sinking, suspicious nostalgia.
The clock is ticking. You're trying desperately to explain something and you don't have enough time.
End the story wondering...
a snowflake lands on the tip of my finger
Warm air from the summer night blasts through the open windows.
I don’t know where we’re going.
I don’t think he knows either.
"Just drive," he says.
So I do.
i freeze the meat
the wild beast
i wrote this when i was 4
Del sat on the steps in front of a brick building, smoking a cigarette. She looked more like a thick, young teenage boy that a woman in her mid-twenties. With her track jacket collar pulled up tight around her, she recoiled into herself, slinking back into the steps. She siphoned a long deep inhale of smoke.
Andie blew the cigarette smoke through her tightened lips and whistled the smoke at the mirror in front of her. She reviewed her reflection critically with squinting eyes. It was cold and dark in the room except for the hot glow of cigarette and the glare of a bare light bulb without a lampshade. Her skin stood up with goosebumps and her ******* were small and hard.
My dad cried when he saw the Statue of David in the seventies.
He hung huge cheap prints in his foyer years later. I thought it was weird.
I’d always stare up at David’s penises - these Greek dongs poking me in my eyes.
My nervous stomach always makes it hard to **** during a vacation. This isn’t MY toilet. After two weeks of self-inflicted constipation in my friend’s cousin’s tiny pueblo, I couldn’t hold it anymore.
I took a huuuuuuuuuge dump. To my horror, it was so huge it wouldn’t flush. Oh God no.
I smuggled a grocery bag into the bathroom and put it over my hand as a glove to pinch the link into smaller sections. Flush *******! Even the pieces wouldn’t go down. I pulled them out with the bag and threw it in the trash can outside as fast as I could.
I kept waiting, horrified, for the trash truck to come please don’t discover my **** in there please don’t discover my **** in there until the day the trash can got full.
In these little pueblos, what I didn’t know is that there is no trash truck. They burn their trash. My **** was in there.
They burned my ****.
he held the microphone with two hands,
one slightly overlapping the other - protecting.
"I stand before you today
he said, "partly from agoraphobia
partly from guilt.
Guilt not that I never said goodbye but that I
ghost - yes
walking - barely
so I went with my dad to his therapist today.
I mean, I just stayed in the waiting room
but this older lady came in and was kind of frantic
and I was just reading a magazine
and she's like, I wish I could be as calm as you.
you remind me of my step daughter.
I'm admiring your long eyelashes.
you're so calm, I wish I was more like you.
and then she asked if I was waiting for someone, and I told her yes.
so then she said something like, "you're lucky not to be like us."
conversation with Sarah O 17/1/13
he stands tiptoes at the edge of the satellite,
smiling into the inky infinity
and says “i'm not thirsty anymore”
The dunes ten thousand miles away
hum for ten thousand years.
A hum I feel through my feet when I breathe hard,
bent over the kitchen sink,
gasping for air between big, fat
gulps of chalky tap water.
I refill the glass and hand it to him.
And so quickly did she puddle – spilled candle wax under a waning moon –
slowly starting to slice silently into a juicy tomato and to have barely imperceptibly snapped the skin and – dust –
that I wondered if she had been real at all.
She ate rose petals,
and with her hands to the ground,
she felt the earthworms’
chants vibrate from the soil below.
We’ll use your body to make flower chain crowns.
I fall asleep to a hum I feel more than hear
- a neighbor’s fridge?
They’ll find six pounds of honeycomb there next year.
In the morning,
three perfect endive-leaf insect wings on my pillow.
She stood in the wheat field at the golden hour. She saw the melting horizon in all directions. No mountains, no hills, no fences, no walls. The wheat flicking her thighs and behind-her-knees, she stood frozen like she would fall up into the sky or roll down the edges and right off. She had come for a walk among the wheat, for ideas, for answers.
She left with less than she thought she had.
As a kid, I kept eating things that weren’t food –
fingernails, scabs, hair, staples, rocks, marbles.
Sometimes I still wonder if there’s a Lego head
floating around in my intestines.
I’m anxious about my two loose front teeth.
Every time I lick them, they get looser and looser.
I keep checking with my tongue if they’re still loose and each time I do, I make them looser and looser.
I close my mouth tight to stop.
But the clenching is a catalyst for two soft, dull snap snaps and the teeth are out,
lying on my tongue
and so I swallow them.
All that night, I’m sick,
imagining the two teeth chomping and chewing up my insides.
The tooth fairy comes anyway.
I stretch forward, elongating my neck, making the hairs that grow down onto my nape prickle,
my true horse-nature.
I’m hooves clopping on river rocks. My mane combed to one side, my angular muzzle huffing.
I’m strong and sturdy – muscle and a soft steel kind of strength. And yet at the
whistle of a windblown reed,
scattered and spooked.
I trace the angles that connect weakly on my rawboned face. Strong lines
never broken never snapped,
just shifted and sifted easily.
I stand before others, pulled loosely together, unsettled in my people-clothes.
Loyal – love me.
Wild – but not too tightly.
I sit for sketches
sometimes hours sometimes minutes sometimes seconds sometimes months.
I look like a human,
solid to the fingertips of others pressing in – but
I’m a ghost.
I’m burned by the red clay of a canyon wall, shiny from the sun. My sweat reflects ribbons of
at the bottom of a cold, fast river.
During construction on our house,
both toilets were taken out.
And I had to **** so bad.
I held a trash bag to my **** and **** a long snake in it.
I’d never seen my **** out of water before.
The inside edge of a cattle skull,
left in the middle of the desert
for as long as it took the wind
to blow soft dust through it until
it was white bone
with pulsing shadows.
The underside of a mallard’s wing – stretching
out for flight across an emerald
algae green manmade pond
behind a leaning trailer, where
a man with cancer and a beer
The inner curve of “Class of 1972”
carved into the cement
outside a tiny school where
an old man walks by
for the thousandth time,
I ran over a squirrel that was already dead.
— The End —