Thursday, May 28, 2020

I'm Not Okay

I want to run away
with the poem of my dreams
ride into the sunset
on a fiery metaphor
hold hands with the moon and sun
and fall in love with words
and the people who whisper them in my ear

But there is no one near to whisper
and I don’t have any words to spare
because I don’t want to say
I’m not okay
There’s nothing poetic
in I’m not okay
There’s no way to make not okay

This poet wasn’t built for distance
wasn’t meant to ever
be more than an arm’s length away
from some kind of
any kind of
wasn’t meant to leap-frog
this distance between nouns
and the adjectives that make them
feel so good

And I just want to feel good again


Friday, January 31, 2020


I tell myself
that I can survive January
that this bone-deep cold
is the hardest part
of the new year
and how hard
could the rest possibly be...

...And then I slide into February
like 10-year-old me
sliding onto a frozen lake
in oversized
hand-me-down skates
trying to find my balance
and hoping that it's safe
but in the end knowing

that I was always going to sink

~ VoodooRue (January 2020)



Breathe deeply
in January
when breathing is the
most terrifying
when the cold threatens
to gut you from the
inside out
and know
that it can only get easier
and that there will
eventually be
a thaw


Fall into
the new year
and its fresh beginnings
and start again
what foundations
are warped and
give no support
and build something
that cannot
be broken


There are tides
that depend on you
and there are words
that wait for
a chance to break
across a silent shore
so do not give up
your breath so soon
just because
the air seems too thin
to survive
and do not forget that
the phases of the moon
are the phrases
of your earth


Love deeply
even when it is
most terrifying
when the fear feels
like it will gut you
from the inside out
and know that
it is not a blade
but is instead
the burn of
your heart
filling in its own cracks
because you let it

Be loved

Allow the sun
its chance to kiss
your face
instead of hiding
in the shadows
lie back
in a field of dandelions
and bloom
and finally
for once
be warm

~VoodooRue (January 2018)

The Truck Poem

I woke up one morning
and spit out blood
without any idea of 
where it came from
or if it was even mine
but I'm pretty sure
the blood on your knuckles
matched my DNA

It was the same DNA
on your windshield
when you decided it should get
acquainted with my face
and it got very well
acquainted with my face
and my ribs
and my knees

And your truck
which didn't survive
whatever lesson
you were trying to
teach me
like paper
on its side 
where I had already folded myself
into a ball for safety

And I was still looking
for safety
when I was climbing over
your body 
to find a way out
so you can probably blame me
for that broken collarbone
but I don't care

Because I still find myself
climbing over memories
and spitting out blood
to find a safe place

~VoodooRue (November 2018)

If I Had a Nickel

If I had a nickel
for every time I've wanted
to tell someone
exactly what I need
I would have
more money
than I could
ever spend

if I had a nickel
for every time
I've told someone
exactly what I needed
and gotten it

Then my bank
would be empty

~VoodooRue (September 2018)

More After Midnight

Sometimes I think
I'm more after midnight
than before
that I am more
in the dark
than I am in the daylight
that I am nothing more than
five feet two inches of
but goddammit
does this tiny vessel
have a voice
and you
are going
to listen

~VoodooRue (May 2018)

Dear Everything I Hate About Myself

I'm going to need you
to take a break and maybe
go on vacation

I'm fucking exhausted

I will buy you the ticket
if you just go sit on a beach
and crack open
a Corona
and listen to a bunch of
shitty Jimmy Buffett songs

Because I am still here
trying every day
to get out of bed
and you're not helping
because you are
the worst lover
I've ever had

And I would pay
a million dollars
if you would just leave me

~VoodooRue (April 2018)


The older I get
the more I am nothing but mouth
I go from aching
to angry
from sadness
to sarcasm
from desperate
to just dark
and there are no miners
left in the world
who are brave enough
to go that deep

~VoodooRue (March 2018)


I have spent a lifetime
writing love poems
to places
that have never
loved me back
because my home
does not belong
to places
but it should belong
to me

So now I'm trying
to build the doors
to my home
I have enough walls
and I'm trying
to fill a welcome mat
with a love poem
to myself

~VoodooRue (February 2018)

Life's a Beach

I don't know
where I stand
with the tides
every day
But I do know
that I am drowning and
I know
that I have sand
in places
where I'm not supposed to
have sand
and saying that
I am uncomfortable
is putting it mildly
Because life is a beach
that's what they tell me
life is a beach
from a distance
a sunlit, beautiful dream
But up close it's cold
and it's wet
and it hurts
when you let it in

~ VoodooRue (February 2018)


As a child
I always feared
the things I couldn't see
and the things I couldn't understand

from the dark things
that lived
in the empty space
under my bed
to the dark things
hidden between the words
of the grown-ups' arguments

And to this day
I'm still not sure
which is more frightening
the blank
under-bed space
from which a child's
nightmares are born
or the dark
between-words space
from which a child's
insecurities are born

And here I am now
still not knowing
where to look
to find the light
and wondering if
in the end
it's all just dark

~VoodooRue (February 2018)

Memo to Myself

in the middle
of your own bed

You are not waiting
for someone
to fill that space

You don't need something
so one-sided
to find comfort

You can be
the center
of your own world

~VoodooRue (January 2018)


Some days I am
fifteen again
and I don't really know
where the city
begins and ends
and I don't understand why
doesn't go dark
at the end of the day
because all my beginnings
and endings
have sketchy borders
and it feels like I am
always in the dark

~VoodooRue (December 2017)


I run from October
because I don't
know how to relate to color

But here I am
ahead of the game
for November

Because l understand
every shade
of rain

~VoodooRue (October 2017)


I have gone to war
in every language
against my own heart
battled every god
created by egos
because we need to believe
we are loved by something
bigger than us
when we should be
in the singular
beautiful language
spoken by our own hearts

But that's the only word
I don't know
in any language

~VoodooRue (September 2017)


Punish me today
for the sins I have committed
Punish me later
for the sins I will commit

Don't punish me
for the sins I wasn't
even original enough
to think of yet

~VoodooRue (August 2017)


said the prisoner
kiss me
and let me tell you
all my secrets
I am as naked
as I have ever been
and I have nothing
left to hide

I answered
and turned my face
into the sun
because you are drunk
on the perfume
of my freedom
and you have nothing
left to lose

~ VoodooRue (July 2017)


A bottle of red
A bottle of white

And I'm sitting in my favorite
Italian restaurant
in Hell's Kitchen
and waiting for my glass
of red
and thinking that
Brenda sounds like
a materialistic bitch
and that Eddie sounds like
a bit of a pushover

But in the end
they both found someone
who wanted to be with them
for a little while

At least until last call

~VoodooRue (June 2017)

Bones in My Teeth

There are bones in my teeth
from all the words
I've had to swallow
trying to consume
the broken parts of me
that will not be digested

I have no more room
I am full
and this mouth
will never be clean

~VoodooRue (June 2017)

I'm Almost

I'm almost 9
I'm almost 16
I'm almost 30
I'm almost 46
I'm almost 9

for a summer in Queens
and the days are sunshine and
beaches and city streets
and baseball games
and dirt that never touches me

I'm almost 16
at my first Broadway show
with my high school chorus
and I don't understand
all the things I see on stage
but I know I want to

I'm almost 30
and this company has agreed
to pay me for the only thing
in the world that
I'm good at
and here I am again

I'm almost 46
and my company has agreed
to bore me to death
so I will I write poetry
sitting in a bar
with red duct tape seats
and wonder

if I'm almost
where I should be
if I'm almost home
and if I'm almost

~VoodooRue (5/2017)


I'm at that age where
loss becomes a regularity
and not a rarity
where stories still start
with once upon a time
but never quite make it
to happily ever after
where dreams fly south
for the winter but decide
they like it slower and
warmer and easier
and never come home to roost
and here I am still
sitting in my nest
just trying to figure out
if my wings are strong enough
to carry the miles of unfinished drafts
that weigh me down

~VoodooRue (5/1/2017)


That view
of Manhattan
that hyper-lit
skyline silhouette
of a million dreams
that, like me,
don't know how
to go to sleep
seen from the rear window
of a cab
on the 59th Street Bridge
on the way back to Queens
is everything
I'm supposed to remember
and everything
I'm prone to forget
~VoodooRue (4/8/2017)

Wednesday, March 29, 2017


Someone hunts the hunter
in the coldest, darkest night
Someone hides their monsters
where the sunlight never shines
Someone watched the angels
and eventually they fell
Someone's lust is poison
but she's looking forward to hell
Someone's got the fever
for a life she's never led
Someone long for stories
where the characters aren't dead
Someone wants to dream of something
anything will do
This girl she wants to dream of something
anything but you


To One Who's Never Met the Sun

Do you see more clearly
when the sun goes down
when every light around you dims
and you can finally find your way
because your eyes 
are so accustomed
to the darkness
that's inside you?
Where will you go
when confronted
by the light
How will you find your way
in the sunshine
when you've never met
the sun?
Will you close you eyes
and stumble back into
the dark corners
of the comfort zone
that has become your home?
Or will you open your eyes
and let all
of your dark places
burn up in the light?


Dreams on St. Peter Street

I can hear the calliope
on the Steamboat Natchez
playing faintly on the river
down Saint Peter Street
I think it's playing
La Vie En Rose
but it's hard to tell
because I'm not sure
if it's real and I'm awake
or if all of this is just a dream
I want to go outside
and listen for the answer
for all the answers
but I'm not really sure
I want to know
because the dream
is just so sweet