Friday, December 11, 2015


If I were to slice my arms 
from wrist to elbow
the only thing that would
spill out
would be
all the words
I was too afraid to use

You see
I am
too rash
and too brash
and too much of a
pain in the ass
for your china shop heart

I am the bull that charges
when I see red
and red is
after all
the color of love

But I cannot afford
to pay any more
for all the damage
I leave behind

And I have given away
all my best words
verbed all my best nouns
down to stunted nubs
and spoiled my soil
until nothing will grow
in my scar-line rows
and empty fields

So don't ask me
to slice myself
open again

because I will
but I don't want to

You cannot have my words

I need them

For me


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Father's Day

On the day my father died
I was the first to get the call
from 1200 miles away
on a rain-soaked sidewalk
in front of a Rite-Aid
in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana
My coworker
Miss Collette
watching through the window
rushed outside
to see what was wrong
and held me
in the rain while I cried
I had to call my brothers
and my sister-in-law
and my mother
who could not hear me
and thought I said
Tigger is dead
No, Mom, my cat is fine
It’s my father who’s gone
A few stunned hours
and a flight later
I was as cold
as northeastern Pennsylvania
in early April
when winter doesn't know
that it should have
turned to spring
and all the sounds
are still frozen to the ground
On the day my father
was laid to rest
his body was not
the only thing
that went into the darkness
and never came back
Now every day is Father’s Day
to a girl who still feels guilty
about that money
she borrowed
for her cat’s emergency surgery
and never got to pay back
Every day is Father’s Day
to a girl who knows he was fine
with talking once a week
because she talks
so goddamn much
but she still wishes
she had called more often
Every day is Father’s Day
to a girl who wakes
breathless in mourning
dreams every morning
she's held underwater
and wonders
what kind of daughter
she'd been
Every day is Father’s Day
to a girl
who never got to say goodbye

Saturday, August 22, 2015


Where do you live?
they ask
Between what?
they wonder
Between all your words
You'd find me if you'd just listen


Monday, May 11, 2015


the cat that ate the moon
stares at me all night
from atop my chest
small wonder I cannot sleep
I don't even have a cat


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Broken Dolls

There's a place
where broken dolls go
to be reunited
with their abandoned heads
and limbs
and feel whole again
Isn't there?


Monday, February 16, 2015

Mardi Gras in Exile

If I leapt open and fearless
in front of a subway train today
I'm fairly certain the the stain
I'd leave behind
would be
a festive smear
of purple green
and gold

That's the color of my blood
that or Mississippi mud
or the deep sunset gloom
of an algae-tinted bayou

where I go to find myself

But nothing finds me here
there are no brass bands
or seconds lines for lost
poet girls who've gone
searching for their words

Until maybe someday
when some soulful Southern boy
comes to blow his horn
to fame and fortune
on the crowded streets
instead spends too much time
straddling a hungry third rail until he

finds himself on an empty
subway platform
blowing a sad, slow rendition
of St. James Infirmary
down a deserted tunnel
where only the lost souls
of lonely poets haunt
the too-silent dark

Friday, February 13, 2015


In a stunning feat
of structural
I have burned
far more bridges 
than I have ever built

human relations
suffer from a
shaky foundation
and the constant
of too much traffic

It's a beautiful ride
across the bridge
but the other side ends
in a sudden drop
into the cold and
empty space below

I burn them because 
they're fun
but dangerous stretches
of madness
where the lonely
tend to follow

But in that brief moment
when all is set ablaze
at least they keep me warm

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Time is a Ferris wheel

Time is a Ferris wheel
Everything feels like motion
but it's really just a series of
the same moments
passing again and again
with different people
beside you
brightly lit
above a disinterested crowd
And trying desperately
to figure out how far
you can rock the car
without winding up
broken and bleeding
at the bottom
of the ride