Saturday, December 29, 2012


i wonder if you're all happy
now or if you're defending lives
you've gotten accustomed to, lives
you ended up with but never
actually chased down, lives
tethering you to the place where
you grew up, where we all grew up.

i wonder, as the flame still alight for you
in a corner of my heart finds a
bit of new air for rekindling --
i wonder if this is the life you had imagined.

i hope you're happy.
i hope that no one has called you names
or judged you for being a small-town boy
who had a child out of wedlock.
i hope your marriages are stronger
than your parents' ever were
and that you didn't do it
because it was the cool thing to do.
i hope we've all moved past that notion
of doing things to be cool.

i hope you aren't stared down in hallways
or tripped in stores accidentally-on-purpose.
i hope your shoes are always with-the-times
and your hair, not yet graying.
i hope you are making your own money
and realizing how hard it is to keep it for yourself.

i hope you smile at more things now
and that you've had to swallow your pride
once or twice. i hope that
for myself a lot, too.
i hope that you don't hesitate
to help someone when they ask
and that you help them even
when they are too afraid to ask.
i hope that all of your struggles,
everything you've lived through,
have enabled you to learn
about the kind of person you are

i hope you think of the people you've hurt
with fondness, especially those
you didn't know you were hurting
and i hope you forgive the people
who have ever made you leave the table
to go cry in the bathroom.
i hope you forgive the people
who offered empty apologies
just to make themselves feel better.
i hope you never get tired of hearing or saying
i'm sorry.

i hope we are contributing members of society now
and that we think seriously about the future
even if we aren't sure
or don't want to know
where it will take us.

i hope the diamonds on your fingers sparkle
as brightly as your eyes do
and that you remember how good it feels
to be complimented sincerely
by somebody you don't know.
i hope you've found something lonely
in this world to believe in.

most of all, i hope that we don't forget.
whatever it is that you still hold on to
from then until now, i hope
it stays with you, welding itself
into the workings of your psyche.
i mostly hope that you are
better, stronger, kinder and humbler.
i mostly hope that we have all
changed from imbeciles into adults,
into human beings who matter to somebody.

that is all that i hope
for all of you, whom i'd nearly,
left behind


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

wait around now

i'm leaving again -- why
do i always feel like i am saying
unnecessary goodbyes?
life should be full of hellos and see you laters, i
can't take finality like i can't take
not remembering where i set my hat down at age twenty.
well the way i see it
au revoir means "until i see you again" anyway
so let's leave it at that
pretending i don't need to feel like
a lovelorn desperado
shouting across fences i got tired of sitting on.
i never actually wait around now
long enough
to hear anyone answer.


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

another shore

how freely we think we are immortals,
our word most certainly each the last.
today we threw out love
and instead rode our high horses ably
into the jester's parade.

i'd like not to be thought of like that;
i held my wary tongue, wavering.

i know the limits of this, and i've received
every bit of it on another shore:
the piercing of a well-timed heart,
the assassination of a beat-bitten soul.
so i need a sort of puerile grace now,
something delicate to counteract the
greed of knowing what's best for everyone
(you only ever know what's best for you
and that's a fortunate science).

i fold in threes, triangle faces and fingers
keeping me from lashing out.
this isn't my desire, to mudsling, to steal the throne.
i cried yesterday so i'm not a martyr now.


Thursday, November 22, 2012

a girl with a heart

i'm caught in you,
being tossed amongst your melée,
and i used to think it might be healthy for me --
i'm convinced
it's so good for my soul to love you.

should my soul, then,
be splitting itself down the center
in what can only be called a civil tug-of-war,
shredding me
in a juvenile game of
a tragedy at best
written for only your benefit.
and suddenly here i am,
naked in the glare of a rogue headlight,
and i really wish you'd run me over,
slam into me head-on
and be done with it.
it would be less painful
than this.

i'd even venture to say
that i wish you could hate me
or that i could hate you
even though i know
it's not really in me
to ever harbor such emotions
or to let you know.

so could you please just sever this thread
that binds me so readily to you
so that i can be free of all this?
i'm coming undone at your feet
and i'm losing myself
over the pieces of us...

i can't be the done-up doll
the pill-popping priss
the mascara-smeared Marilyn
you chase
you drool over
you claim will complete you;
it's me,
this, just a girl with a heart,
or nothing.
that is all i can offer,
now or ever,
and so i must request to be
put out of my misery
or else risk
making a mockery of us both;
be attentive and real
or be done with me.


Sunday, November 18, 2012


world -- struck blind and deaf,
no sense left to make some sense --
judged me anyway.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

only ours

you're not sure when you stopped
meaning something.

well, since you asked,
yes, i do miss the things
that were once only ours.

our favorite place to be
was in the front seats of your car,
you at unsteady wheel
and me picking up your misses on the road.
Matt Nathanson would happily serenade us
and you and i would serenade him right back
as if he could hear us through a one-sided stereo,
but we always did him one better
by harmonizing --
you so loved those harmonies
we shared.
they brought his music to life for us,
the too-true lyrics
resonating long after the songs had ended.
it was like
this guy
had taken our own lives,
read every page
and written about them,
spreading experience, emotion
across radio waves
and bedrooms
and iPods
and hearts
like the tastiest butter.

i still recall fondly
the concert he gave at our school;
at five bucks per head
it was a fucking steal
but he must have known
we were broke college kids
who'd wasted our parents' money
on beer the week before.
he asked what we wanted to hear
and we told him
and he listened and played it all
into perfection.
you got it all on camera
and sent me the videos;
i watch them now
and as amazing as Matt was that night
all i can think of
is you
because he was ours.

the best day i had last summer
was my 23rd birthday
when you visited me in Florida
and we spent it in Walt Disney World,
a place that had seemed only mine
for weeks
and then opened up to accommodate you
there in the midst of my dream.

we rode Mission: Space together
and Zach got so excited
to be a part of the journey
that he dubbed us Team Awesome
and there we were,
a cluster of young adults
who'd been transformed by the magic
into invincible kids.
we had a superhero stance and everything.

we rode it five times in a row
so we'd all have a turn at each role,
and that day
all of it --
the buttons on the inside that we couldn't wait to push,
Gary Sinise as our trusty flight director,
going to space and back in four minutes,
all of it
was ours.

the night before you left
in the hotel
we were in bed
talking about life
and i cried
because i'd been lonely and homesick,
because it had meant the world to have visitors,
because i didn't want you
to go.
you held me
and cried with me
and told me that you loved me
and that at last
you understood what i felt for you.

it pains my heart to know
how often you think of that moment now;
i remember it like yesterday

but somewhere in between the beginning and the end
i got hurt
and in turn you got hurt
and the things that had been only ours
disintegrated back into
facts of life
for everyone.

i'm not sure when you stopped
meaning something;
i don't think you've stopped
meaning something.
but if we've lost
those things that were ours,
much of the meaning
has gotten lost, too,
all that ever defined you and me
has gotten lost, too.

yes, i do miss the things
that were once only ours.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Wednesdays are hard for some people
but not me. i think Wednesdays are good
for me and there should always be something
to break up the week a bit. September 11th
was a Tuesday and i once broke a man's heart
on a Sunday. Wednesday is good.
Thursday is almost-weekend but not weekend enough.
give me mid-week sunbeams dancing over my floor
or even the consistency of third-day rain when it's been too long
without. i like Wednesday,
it's some kind of momentum into
things to come and i don't have
to look back anymore. my
grandmother passed on a groggy Saturday morning
so as much as i enjoy sleeping late
and bacon breakfasts with eggs
i don't think i'll ever go for those, really.
i'll have Wednesday please.
it hasn't betrayed me so far in this life.


Monday, October 29, 2012


i love words
and having words and
knowing how to use them

but i do not love
how they can shatter
worlds and bring tears
from nothing

it's easy to speak
it's not easy to think
before speaking

that song once found beautiful
now ruins you
words with new meanings now

profound whispers tip-toeing
across land mine hearts


Friday, October 19, 2012

gold and green

has the sparkle too soon
gone out of your eyes? just
find that western sky when you can,
the glint of gold and green,
the leaves can only shine back

and they'll put you right,
nature always follows through
and it'll put you right.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

[poetry soon.]

forgive me, friends.

life's caught up to me recently, but there have been triumphs mixed in with the struggles, so it's all going to be OK. work is taking its toll but i am grateful to have a job. i'm working on a community production of a musical, which demands much of my nightly time but brings me joy, for theatre is a beautiful, under-appreciated art. and my brother got married this weekend, so my heart is still overflowing with love and happiness from that.

i will return to you, i promise. in the meantime, keep writing, and i hope you'll stick with me, too.

peace and love,
Dana xo

Thursday, September 20, 2012


i am a fissured pawn
but have no control
as every shrewd square becomes occupied
by an opposing fate or fraud.
each path leads to a cracked rear view
content with lovely nothingness.

there is nothing left for me here,
even when all masks have been lowered.

and where would resolve lie?
a symphony will digress only if commanded to do so.
yet it takes no composer to ensnare me on a whim,
to crescendo the scattered notes,
to put an end to it all with a double line
and not another glance back.

hard prayers hold no future for soft sin,
but at such times as these
at least a memorial is expected.

my head is barely above water,
there's no telling what's below.

i hold on to the one thing
keeping me from drowning,
my buoy in troubled waters,
but sometimes even that
doesn't seem like enough.

no more tears here, the sign says.
so i move over five inches and cry there instead.

i'm running fast as wildfire through my own mind games
but it doesn't matter.
no one cares enough to chase me.

still it seems the walls of morality
are closing in, but strategizing,
and i'm going back to prison.
i'd rather run from the law
than abandon my dreams.
run like wildfire.


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

so long, January

don't flatter yourself, January.

you promise a new year,
new beginnings
but it's more of the same old shit.
turmoil in the static.

you're not fulfilling my needs
and you know how i thrive on
immediate satisfaction.

so go fuck yourself, January,
or else find me a way to deal with
the sudden burst of nothingness you've handed me.
for you found me at a difficult time,
but for once it's not the fault of
a man or
a friend-in-passing or
some other convenient betrayal.

it's only me,
my fault,
all my doing
but it's been going on like this
since September,
so you can see how i was anticipating you
to somehow rescue me from this
ready-to-expire horror story
i'm creating.

i'm sad to say
you couldn't offer me anything more
than high hopes abandoned on window sills
by one who was too afraid to jump
for keeps.

the January thrill of snow and speed
were lures into a game called life
that i'm not sure i'm ready to be a part of yet,
so forgive me if i'm not
about my current situation.
for we both know i've never been the type
to be tied down
to anything,
least of all
what's expected of me.
my alter ago,
the side of me no one sees,
is way ahead of its time
with things you could never provide for me,

you toyed with me and now
i'm over it
and i'm over you
and the thirty-one days of
you offered,
so you'll again forgive me
for not mincing my words.

i'll move on to the next
who promises some kind of salute to love
and perhaps i'll find something
or something that will make me feel

so long, January,
you mother fucker.
next year
you'd better bring it.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012


i don't belong here and i am well-aware
of that but still you force it
down a swollen throat like
knives i can't hope to abate,
fighting the death of me. i don't want your pity
but i do want a chance in your muddy eyes
to be more than obligatory waste.


Monday, September 10, 2012

livin' to live is a peculiar thing

she hung boho ideas from her ears like misplaced string,
leftovers of fires started by the pretty boy in gold
who could promptly match her twisted baby blues
in a way that revolving-door sea never could.

he said, 'livin' to live is a peculiar thing
but what happens to livin' when we grow old?'
she flicked through her hung ideas, paying her dues,
trying all at once to do the most good.

she was more atune to the potential sting
of the boy's fires burning out, a premature fold
that would leave her floating in the free-fall blues
which come when her heart don't beat like it should.

then she let the ideas go and was left with the ring
of wanted waste, of stories never getting told.
the pretty boy moved on, needing new news;
he couldn't place his disdain, didn't think he ever would.

his fires went with him, flame to soot, and then
she was sure she'd not hang dreams of such a world again.


Friday, September 7, 2012

a man like him

i feel sorry for all the girls and also the boys
who grew up without a good father
because i have the absolute best one
and i am so sorry to them for that
i am sorry that my dad has been fantastic
i am sorry that he makes sure there is money in my pockets
when i don't have any
i am sorry that he came to my softball games
and that i always played poorly because i knew he was watching
i am so sorry that my father cried when i left him at the airport
to go live in France
and i am sorry that it made me not want to go
i am sorry i left you there daddy
i am very sorry that my dad never went to college
but he has worked harder than anyone i know, and better
i am so sorry that he paid for the majority of my college education
and i am also sorry that my father has been there
at my graduations and birthdays and triumphs and failures
i am not sorry that he has been spectacular to me
i am sorry though that you do not know him,
i am sorry if your fathers were not like mine
i am sure you deserve a man like him
in your lives
at some point


Sunday, September 2, 2012

melt their crowns

kings should melt their crowns
and offer you the profits,
your beauty is such.
one thousand slaves ought be at your
every beck and call
and the skies
ought timidly propose
with stars as diamonds,
skylight solitaires to adorn your fingers every day
for the rest of your life.

it would be a true travesty to learn
that you are not aware of the light
that burns within you,
a lantern aglow,
your good heart --
or that no one has ever told you so.

if not, heed this:
i think you are exquisite
and perhaps it's not fair
to raise you up on my pedestal
at world's display
while everyone else looks on, neglected,
but if you even knew of your magnificence
you would not scold me
for being rash and partial.

i'm ever grateful
that i found you among thieves
but caught you Robin Hood-ing instead;
and perhaps you're thought unholy
by vagabonds and liars --
oh, it can't happen here
in my distinct line of sight.

it's rather agonizing
to think at long last
how good you are.
it's painful, how your thoughts
are never with yourself.
all i can ever pray for the world
is that your spirit
into the millions
would be reason enough
to not ever go to war.

and were the world mine
you'd rule
after all other regimes
had done as i requested
and yielded to you,
making every effort to melt their crowns
in the process,
attempting to add some sort of afterthought
to someone already filled to the brim with worth.


Monday, August 20, 2012


a box of Pandora proportions --
time to escape.
it's a sign that you're in the wrong place
when masochistic walls
begin to move in on you,
encroaching on space that's your own
and sprouting barbs to match the count
for each day you remain
where you aren't supposed to be.

suffocating into the ordinary
you're tortured,
whittled down to shreds
of a former self,
stripped of all that's genuine,
crudely molded into what
they've designed for you --
a shell not conducive to adaptation,
no room to grow,
stained with stale expectation.

time to escape
the box --
the only thing
holding you in.


Sunday, August 19, 2012

shoes on a wire

it used to be cool
to tie the ends of your shoelaces together
and toss them sky high
to get them to land on a power line.
you got bonus points
for putting them there
so they hung evenly;
everyone likes symmetry.

then all the lonely people
who'd drive by in their fancy cars
or walk home from their fancy schools
would be forced to notice
the handiwork of some punk kid
who had nothing better to do
than waste a perfectly good pair of sneakers
by attaching them to a high wire
and watching them hang there
swaying with each new breeze
day after day.

the real trick
was getting those wayward shoes
down from said wire,
a crafty larceny indeed.
once sacrificed
there was no guarantee
those suckers would ever return to earth
for reclaim,
but you knew that going in.

you didn't want to wear them again;
that wasn't even the point --
it was just to be able to say
you'd done it
and also
so they didn't become prey to a storm
and get lost in the universe somewhere.

no one wants to wake up
to a pair of forsaken shoes,
sodden and overrun with stench,
on their lawn.
then you'll be that kid
whose shoes were found four streets over
from their original hanging place
and then it's not so cool anymore
they're in a stranger's trash can
where their legacy dies
instead of being heralded on a wire
in high fashion.

like anything in this world
it was only cool to throw your shoes on a wire
if you did it right
and you didn't get caught.


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

hum away

i want us to stay
right here, and we'll hum away
lazy afternoons


Thursday, August 9, 2012

of you i only remember the last week (II)

of you
i only remember
the last week in March, the
day before you were to return to Germany
i could not fathom having
gotten so close to you so quickly
and now oceans separating our laughter again
just like that

those parties chez toi
they always made me nervous, cringing
to think of conversing in French for three
four, five hours, hours of exhaustion
before i came i indulged on red wine
the sweet kind from the Loire just nextdoor
and you moved out so it wasn't your business now was it
my head got foggy on purpose
i had to have a foggy head
to fucking stand another drawn-out soirée
where you are the guest of honor
you were always the guest of honor and
i never felt good enough to be sitting on your right side
the joke of the Loiret who knew no way to be happy here

but i had my trusty wine in my belly
and i was golden, conversational wiz
confidence surfacing from the too-conscious parts of my brain
and i giggled perhaps a bit louder and longer
and you asked me with a smile if i was already drunk
yes! i wanted to scream, yes! i am!
because i don't want to fucking be here
with these temporary people who tolerate me!
you can at last stop tolerating me

Veronika gave you a necklace but
you did like her more than me didn't you
i gave you some perfume of mine
to remember me, if you can
if you are capable of remembering

you handed me my give-a-damn on a polished plate
i should have thrown it to the floor
and enjoyed the crash instead


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

your anthems

Americana, that your unprecedented wisdom
should appear to shy you now,
for you have killed a dream today.

all that danced inside him was abandoned
for a chance at unsummoned victory.
they laughed at his candor.

he yearned to remodel his microphone
in order to restore his former glory
on an amateur stage.
chancellors encouraged him to do so.
thus began his journey across unmarked stars.
he was prepared to pave his own path
to infinity.

a juvenile gleam perused his aged eyes.
he had seen the world but wanted more, they said.
some were not ready to let him try.

he was vibrant yet innocent,
perfect yet flawed somehow.
still they adored him.
Caesar's throne cowered under his suave;
he played upon that most.
an icon, he knew
as did his peasants.
they bowed to him.
how they cheered.
an icon.

my Greek god,
how i long for your anthems
to make me swoon.
it has not been an hour.
i will hear the affections of your singsong heart once again,
and this time
they will not take you from me.


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

spinning up violets and roses

even if we can't get out, we can still
be left with all that's here for a thrill,
our favorites of the day and what's more,
all the things we never knew before --
barber poles spinning up violets and roses
mocking the beautiful people in their beautiful poses;
faded signs stuck behind streetlights for show
on roads once run by horses and bankers in-the-know.
on the way down perhaps we'd notice the way
the sun catches in trees in the middle of the day
or even the shine off three-piece suits and magazines
who never understood how to sever the seams
binding them to earth that crumbles 'neath their feet
when we're on our way into orbit, young, complete.
and even if we can't get out we can remember the time
we almost had nice things, infrequently sublime.

didn't we leave a mark in place of our shoes?
they'll come around; we've overpaid our dues.


Tuesday, July 31, 2012


to be an intelligent female in this world
is more often than not a curse.
it means i am not so likely
to give my heart away but
it is overgrown.
it hasn't made contact with another
for long enough to know its limits:
it is ready.
but it is only ready for greatness,
the all-encompassing consumption that is
falling in love with an equal
and that is hard to do.

i have no interest
in being your play-thing,
a chew-toy, food for thought.
that could never be enough for me
and if you can't discern that
from the orders i subscribe to
then you haven't cut your way in
far enough
for me to extract my heart
and hand it over.

in fact you might be better off
going in yourself
and digging it out
but you should only do it
if you are seriously in search
of me
this heart isn't for everybody.


Thursday, July 26, 2012

on a day she feels like trying

on a day she feels like trying
delusional girl
can make headlines

settle down,
delusional girl

your story's already been told


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

lying on my back in the street

i don't know where to put my emotions today,
so much of me has decided to come up
and play at the surface all at once; i
am confused -- i can't identify
with the twist in my hair that's new
or the way i never feel like walking straight home
anymore. it disturbs as much as it refreshes.

familiar? i'm too well-known
to ever be any good at life here;

i'll be seeing you.


Monday, July 23, 2012

in return

you've never looked so odd.
perhaps the true word more closely resembles
at this point.
for it's clear from
the worn-down fingernails
the sweat on your brow
the pink flush rising to your cheeks
the throw of your garments
the hesitation that lingers on bated breath
that you crawled your way here, clawing
through a booby-trapped heart
to get back to me somehow.

all i can do is stand in awe of you
and ask resolutely why you've come.

after all,
you did just recently take your time
destroying me from inside out.
you took me for a ride --
and i wanted to experience you,
so of course i obliged eagerly --
but you wouldn't let me off when nausea overcame
and so i vomited all on your dreams
and you blamed me for restricting them,
as if you ever would have let me
have that amount of control over your life.

you promptly lit me up,
which in turn set me on fire
and scalded me senseless
with your dazzled wit
and cheap shots.
and when the flame backfired
i took my only chance for escape
and you berated my healthy intentions,
naming it cowardice instead.

i should have known on the days
i woke
heavy from yesterday's makeup
and stale cigarette breath
that the violation i felt
was not just my mind playing tricks.
i only had virgin flesh to offer
but you made your kill anyway
and then acted like
i would never be
good enough
to abate your hunger.

it was then
that i threw you from my sheets
and snatched back the bits of my heart
you'd taken liberty to play with.
and it was like you didn't understand but
my tongue was not foreign
and my tone was not ambiguous.

life apart for so long --
to me, a remedy;
to you, what you deserved,
for you don't deserve me
or rather,
no one deserves the treatment
you admittedly bestowed:
you at the helm
and me being drowned at sea.

and what now?
pleas for redemption,
another try?

second chances are reserved
for those who hurt me
without knowing so.

you do not,
nor have you ever,
fallen into said category
and therefore
should be lucky to be graced
with even a fleeting glance
this time.

but such reminiscing
has so quickly exhausted my patience,
for you never gave me the time of day
and thus you merit the same
in return.

i walk away;
i don't know if you've turn at heel
and done the same
or if you're still rooted to the spot
watching me go.
but should either be true
it matters not much to me,
for at last i am breathing freely
and at last i'm not chained to your tomorrows
and at last i'm
back to me.


Friday, July 20, 2012

once i wrote about horses

once i wrote about horses
but not the grazing-in-the-pasture kind
they were the cold, unfeeling kind
petrified by poles run through
whirling 'round in forever circles
the carousel horse, of course of course

it was a probable parallel to love
and how it tends to run laps around me
i have tickets again for such a carnival

if i were pretty the mirrors would not shout so loud; i
only come in fun-sized and my mind's made up
i scream only because i am falling
i don't always want to fall
if the cart has reached the top
i beg you
break the whole thing down
so i get stuck somewhere with a view
you can cherry-pick me out later
when everyone's trickled on home

my prize is that i'm learning
i'm not such a good girl anymore
running toward the exit
monsters, clowns, fools
running toward the exit
oh, what a show

the horses in their freeze-frame waltz
are laughing

[this piece is a response to the "carnival" prompt over at Poets United for Think Tank Thursday this week. x]


Thursday, July 19, 2012

slit my wrists with ink

i wrote the word 'love' on my arm
twirly with hearts for flourish
in every attempt at being artistic
but i didn't know who i was writing it there for.
i marked my wrist with a pretty word
just so i could say i did it, that i'm honoring the day.
but the disconnect i was left with
was written all over me,
scribed into telltale limbs that needed validation.

some girl somewhere had taken blade to flesh
right below her capable hands
because they'd called her ugly,
because she'd believed them;
pain in person to equal pain in soul
and she could hide in her sleeves
so no one would know
of her mutilation --
soon to become afternoon ritual.

when the boy she liked
agreed with her toughest critics
she slit those shiny wrists in the bathtub
and she slit them good
so she'd never have to slit them again.
she'd never have to endure such bullshit again.

they found her lying deep in her sickness and her sins,
which they hadn't seen until she'd sworn them all off for life
in the name of death
and all the legacies she might have left
were erased from the history of the earth
as if she'd never been a part of it.

it seemed reason enough to slit my wrists with ink
for only a day, for only a day
which to her had been more of an eternity
of insults damaging her worth.
i dug the pen in as far as it would go
into malleable skin,
pouring bloody ink into bloody veins,
carving the word in so it wouldn't leave,
a word she hadn't known,
a word that might have spared her life.
i scraped the word 'love' across my arm
pulling pain from her undead flesh,
remembering a stranger
who would have written 'love' on her arm
if the world had shown her any.

[this was written following the "To Write Love On Her Arms" event one year, a day where people are encouraged to write "love" on their arms to express their support of suicide prevention. i was feeling disconnected to it all even though i wanted to participate, so i wrote about it until i found some sort of meaning. i quite dislike the final line myself, too cliché for my tastes, but i didn't know where else to take it. xo]


Monday, July 16, 2012

Daddy finds difficulty in this

Daddy sent his leftover tears to Wisconsin
for you to stumble upon
when you arrive,
among other things.
he just wants to be remembered,
he just wants you to remember.

he has nothing left to give you.

Daddy can't pull off
being the tough guy anymore;
he wore that out
when he was shaping you to enter the world.
he doesn't know how to hold back
from exposure,
and his soul is terrified
of that helpless feeling that comes
when someone is suddenly, completely

he doesn't know
he'll be forgiven;
he can't find a star to pray on:
he doesn't want to let you go.

Daddy finds difficulty in this
but he'll never let you know
until you're opposite those watery baby blues
watching them shrink into tears
he'll send along ahead for you.

[my father is one of the most compassionate men i've ever known, and because of that he so elegantly inspired a series in my writing. i love writing about him. x]


Friday, July 13, 2012

i have something dire to tell you

i have something dire to tell you
naive girl

how i admire you, dear
your hair kept clean, your eyes aglow in photos
and don't forget those rosy rosy doll cheeks
no one can ever tell if you're embarrassed
or if you've had a bit too much wine
or if you were just born that way

how i admire you, dear
naive girl
but it'll burn you, baby
how i wish i could tell you that

your phone number is not for free
neither is your body
or your pride
how i want to tell you

men don't want to be your friend
they want to insert a coin
and make you light up
hoping the payout will be sex
and one of these days they will break you
taking you for all you're worth, jackpot
naive girl

how i wish i had told you that

[this is part of a series that began this past year writing about girls i know in real life. women in general are interesting creatures, but sometimes they can be quite baffling and so i write about them. the "girl" series is one i'm quite proud of, hope you like it, too. x]


Monday, July 9, 2012

you look too long

one of the finer things about being a woman
is that she can always always
sense a lingering set of eyes,
remaining a moment too long
where perhaps they should not be.

i do not love you still
but your silky blues so honorably betray you.

it's the same awkward conversation.
you compliment my snake bracelet and i
say thank you and look away
and ask how your father is.
it's like that apocalyptic minute in your car
when we gambled our feelings at once
and the dice all landed on yes, let's be lovers.
it's like us and our movie-scene first kiss
on the front steps where anyone could see.
it's like i'm 21 again.

but you haven't let me go,
not really.
even after i asked you to.

i toss back Chardonnays like water, you know me,
and when there's music again
i'm on the floor
because it's a wedding and
because all of my friends' hearts are full as ever
and that means we should be
dancing like we did in college.
i do and we are drinking each other's smiles, all of us,
and you are there too at last
and i catch you looking
and you look too long.

you look at me,
glowing from my pores,
and i am in an instant, in some words
the one who got away.

you aren't supposed to wonder when you stare; your
girlfriend should be where your
eyes end up. but i am
the gravity tethering you to uneven ground
i'm no longer standing on.

i am no fire worth ogling,
no explosion in the sky. i am only
the girl you thought you knew,
the one who erupted into your heart,
a whimsical twirl in sync with your beat:
melancholy but all at once
wrong for me, wrong like
how you look too long at me


Sunday, July 8, 2012

two meetings

she holds his heart so close to hers
and all i can do is notice mine aching wearily.
he remains oblivious to all affections,
but how am i to break her heart
when mine is halfway there?
his smile entrances that which betrays me,
swallows all doubt of regard,
illuminates my nights,
but it proves similar for she.
i'm left to share diluted tea
with only my unheard self
as i assume the masquerade
i've been avoiding from the beginning.
how can i give my love to him
when i'd be competing for his?
he knows me, yes,
but he attends to her willingly.
two meetings cannot accurately demonstrate
what many meetings can.
maybe the world would prefer my alter ego
to my honest heart;
the masquerade has become my shelter.


Saturday, July 7, 2012


in this town
hold secrets.
the star-spangled people sitting on them
in wicker and plastic
belong on other ones
across town
but they're welcome where they are
all the same.

light the way home
for teenage daughters
who've just been dated
and around here the friendly
fend off would-be thieves.

porches --
the haven from which
to hide
or jump
or dream,
a comfort.

have their own secrets
in this town.


Friday, July 6, 2012

to let those people whom i have loved go

people fall out of love all the time.
or at least they say they do. but i don't
know if anyone ever really,
truly and completely casts it off;
how do you
so condemn someone who has been
such a part of you?

this thundering heart never was good at forgetting or even
letting someone go; it does not warrant
closure that way. it only aches for a while
but then it always remembers
and it always feels

it will always feel something.
it will always feel the ghastly remains
of every love.

one love held my hand as he chose his drugs over me
and i let it go on thinking
my rational heart wouldn't notice, thinking
my rational heart wouldn't mind
a casualty.

one love took his time reeling me in only
to cast me back out again,
a fish on a wire he set free
right before the friendly-fire; i was sure my
wholesome heart could forgive; i was sure my
wholesome heart would forget
the beating.

one love has struggled through years
of unrequited torment, quite differently
and always at the forefront
of thought.
i let his incongruities slip past my understanding
so i could capture him as something more
than what he was
and my clever heart caught the mismatch,
and my clever heart was consumed,
a victim.

i can say i do not love them
but my thundering heart would
they left their marks and chose their ways
but the heart is still the same heart.
a wiser one, but the same one.
i will not be so arrogant to assume
it has not been as affected as i.

to let them go,
to let those people whom i have loved go,
would render me as naive as my youth
and much less prepared to love
the next
properly or
as deserved.


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

fault line

i got on a bus to you today
thinking that the gesture
would at last show some shred
of how much you have always meant
to this friend-forged heart: you were never
secondary. i have, since we grew to all fruition,
held you in highest regard, in
the sincere circle of all i hold
dear. that is where you will remain.

today was your birthday. we
did vodka shots like when we were in college
and i knew we were back to being invincible
again and i was riveted to know
you felt it, too. the rift we usually feel
is part of a regurgitated fiction
we've created to somehow justify
the distance neither of us can stand
and i hate it and so i came to you
and built a bridge over the void
and we crossed hand-in-hand and
burnt it behind us so
we'd never go back to that.

i got on a bus to you
so we would both be held accountable,
so i wouldn't be the only fault line
haunting the fissured earth at our feet --
i need to at last be validated
in eyes that have too long
held me over the edge, a step
from walking off an unfair plank,
you pushing me to a fraying sea that
could never hope to contain all i am
or all you are to me.


Thursday, June 28, 2012

she tasted fine then

before the ship sinks
we're grasping for glaciers
and spare planks of wood or

how did we get here? it's
not my fault; i was overdrawn
and i certainly had my

now i lay open-faced on the table
hoping i can still complete a breath
tomorrow. when you feast,

leave me a crumb or two of
what i used to be: i don't really
miss her but she tasted fine


[shared this week at the Poetry Pantry over at Poets United. xo]

Monday, June 25, 2012

time to go

twilight had difficulty bidding farewell that day,
clinging to life as it offered a view
and somehow found itself at a crossroads
pondering the left trail
or the ever-sought road not taken.

she faced the same dilemma each day
of being forced to go
though the day had been so lovely,
full on laughing breezes
and smiling clouds
and tired rain
and blistering thunder
and tormented wind.
at least the weeks all brought variation;
but in a way it made the goodbyes even harder,
like having to leave a new lover over and over
after finding the match is made in heaven.

torturous, dangling there
like a dream just out of reach.

but the moon won't stand for any dilly-dallying
now or ever,
as he's bound by his obligations
to the night,
contracted in ink and splotches of stars.

at a loss,
dusk is overshadowed
and dawn begs for clearance.

this is it,
she says, not quite ready
for another twelve hours
on her own.
alas, it's the inevitable way of the world
and as twilight was equal match
to night
she could not deny
that it was time to go
once more.

but she vowed to return
more triumphantly than before
as always.


Sunday, June 24, 2012

let her go

if she's never allowed to stumble
into the muck's tempting tendrils,
desperate to drag her out screaming
and make her wish she could go home,
she'll never start to miss
the comforts of what she knows.

if she can't lose her bearings
in the overdrawn map she's scribed for herself,
becoming absorbed in ornamental details
that turn out not to be so,
she'll never accept the role of designer
when life hands her a pen.

if she doesn't betray the fickle cord
binding her to what she's been told,
drawing her back in to the rigid frame of still life,
she'll never invent ideas, create surprises,
fool the conformists who've trodden paths
worn thin with footprints
everyone's stepped in.

if you refuse to let her go,
she won't ever make her mark
on streets paved in cement
that's already drying
without her.


Thursday, June 21, 2012

save me my own mercy

what makes you kick
is sometimes
what makes you tick.

i'm kicking today because
the rain made me do it.
i made bad coffee and curled my hair.

when the wind blows
the rain sounds like someone's vomit
splashing to the pavement
but it looks a little prettier.

i think if i throw my heart away
it'll save me my own mercy
afforded when no one gives a fuck
what happens.

attention whore, thrill seeker,
call me names, i invite you to.
i'm immune now,
numbed by bad weather and
the memory of cigarettes on Sundays.
God's day. a day not to commit
the inevitable sins of your ancestors.

if i grow old but never get even,
it'll be a combustion of sorts,
the key in the ignition, me learning
some humility at last that the
earth might have withheld;

don't look at me, the cocoon
is cracking.


[this piece is inspired by the "labyrinth" prompt from Think Tank Thursday over at Poets United. i get lost inside myself often, and a labyrinth is a good way to describe my insides, i suppose. writing about it helps me find my way out. x]

picture imperfect

the bathroom floor was ready to receive me
the other night
when it occurred to me at last
that you're really going.

for months that has been your plan
but i'd not considered
everything you'd be leaving behind,
me you'd be leaving behind.

all of a sudden
those portraits of us, you know the
ones positioned neatly below the stairs
were screaming at me
to notice them,
and as i shouted back that i always had
they whispered, 'not like this, you haven't.'
and that was when
i was drawn
to both
and stood
and considered them
at once.

at left,
me at seven, you at four
in my likeness
or rather, that of our father:
squinty-eyed from smiling,
a joyful thing.
inside of your chubby cheeks
was where you stored your cuteness,
and i in my bow and velvet
and you in your bow and suit
were a happy sight.

at right,
me at sixteen, you at lucky thirteen
and we're different
and we're the same.
our features have all evolved
but at closer look,
i in red and bangs,
you in black and shaved head,
we have not grown out of
that age of innocence
where we were too young for labels,
too young to make decisions,
too young to be separated.

my own cheeks possessed no cuteness the other night,
only two distinct trails of tears
that i hadn't felt coming on --
they were just there
and flowing
and flowing.
i left our pretty portraits
to never betray the memories they induced
and went instead
to beckoning bathroom
that had always been comfort
to sleepless nights,
to unabashed sickness,
to moments like this
when the rug had been pulled viciously from under me
but instead of going off like a fine magician's trick
everything came crashing down.

i could feel the portraits shredding
where our hands were interlinked,
split down the middle cruelly
and i wanted you there with me
so that you would link hands with me
in the flesh
and somehow maybe glue it all back together.

our picture could no longer be portrayed
as perfect.
and i tried to cease the fault lines
in both frames
but they


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

i remember Decembers

in high school choir we sang this song called
I Remember December
and it always made me a little sad to think of
remembering Decembers
that weren't there anymore.

i never want to only remember my Decembers;
i always want to cherish them.

Decembers bring me unexplained joy
even when the rest of the year's been shit.
my childhood was good and i have never yet missed a Christmas
and Mama was born on its eve
so there's that.

but most of all
there was the promise of something to come
when the long year at last was over.
December could make me forgive when i wasn't ready.
nothing mattered because December knew the score
and suddenly stopped counting
and i always remembered that about Decembers
young and old. i feel like i can truly
remember all of them.


Monday, June 18, 2012

it's funny

it's funny, i finally interest myself
in something other than me
and it's like i'm not in my own body
but still somehow gasping on the surface for air,
treading glue because i didn't see it coming and
no one knows what to do with me.
well this i say to you:
i'll take the dive if you ask me to walk in step-by-step
up to my toes. so this means of course i am
going out not with a fizzle
but with the most spectacular bang
you've heard


Monday, June 11, 2012

take now my heart

i could have been the best you'd ever had.
now that you've done what you want
with my heart,
any remnants of attraction
are yours in lovely frailty,
and in the end
i think the foolish timestamps
i've placed on all my expectations
shall expire dutifully,
exposing your downfalls.
lest mine should trail,
i will not be undone.
all i can do is sing
until my tainted lungs resist,
until scream becomes song.
it will not cease
until the song sheds tears as i have for you,
and if you ears should play upon my song,
i will belt out notes
that would prefer a more suitable key.
take now my heart
and all its pieces --
it was yours to begin with.

look at yourself,
cleaning up after me now.
how i've longed for the satisfaction
that brings.
somehow you still retain your beauty.
'tis a shame you still don't see mine.


Saturday, June 9, 2012

peut-être fous

nous étions heureux, peut-être fous;
tu me manques
chaque jour.

peut-être ce n'est que moi qui est folle,
mais ça m'est égal, je m'en fiche.
j'espère que tu reviendras


we were happy, maybe crazy;
i miss you
every day.

maybe it's only me who's crazy,
but i don't care, i don't care.
i hope you come back


Friday, June 8, 2012

on hold

she had sunken eyes
that she played up
until he took her picture
'leave them grey,' she begged and begged

the band sang something like
'you can't want to become a woman
and act like a child'
and it made her think
of what she wanted
like what she really wanted

it was the simple design
that's what she missed the most
having it all decided for her
it never made sense but it was always easy
she needed color but couldn't pick which one
couldn't leave her life on hold for that

'leave them grey,' she begged and begged


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

i owe you

my heart was out the door
before i met you
and you couldn't have known.

i should have told you when
anxious eyebrows questioned that i
could feel anything for you:

i should have told you when
the little wit i still had discerned the
contractible warmth you were offering.

you were more than mockery
and i was the reason we were a sham --
i owe you some equity,
i owe you my belated love.


Monday, June 4, 2012

you're the glue, baby

i knew no one would hear him until he was screaming.

who loves you the most? everyone
puts their two cents in, vying
for love you already freely give away.
it's a rat race, unnecessary victor.

it doesn't have to be this way,
it doesn't have to be tug-of-war.

your heart's not big enough yet
for us to break it apart: and you're
angelic and clean, sobering.
i want you to still want to be here
in ten years' time. don't go, baby boy.

our emotions set us on fire,
stretching those seams for the ripping
but you're the glue, baby,
you're the glue.


Saturday, June 2, 2012

honorable or mentionable

let's go down to the demonstration
and breathe down the backs
of ideas that were dead
long before we arrived
here or on the planet.
we might inspire
life anew
in them.

we could be the next generation's
or onlookers.
either way
we've got something to prove.

inspire some fear,
make 'em wonder,
we could;
it keeps 'em on their toes.

we might even find
some comfort among
changing hearts, the world awake.
but if we're talking some sort of sense,
i'm not sure we'll do much good,
for we can only leave marks
where they are wanted;
the fools in their paradise
won't have any of it.
off and on
and in between
are the words we'll use.
we could always just toss them around,
let the air receive them
and pray.

come with me
and our transgressions;
they'll probably get lost by the road
on the way
and then we're free for the future,
no longer obliged to the past.

let's go
take back the night
and give sanity the finger
and then we can run for our lives --
we'll be so on the line
that anyone society could send after us
wouldn't even find themselves in hot pursuit
because we'll be long gone,
our well-wishes having erased
any remnants of footprints.

that renders us untraceable, yes?
we could always zig-zag our way
across state lines and oceans,
make some sort of epic swim to London or Paris
or perish out at sea
although i'm certain
if we traded breath along the way
we could make it
relatively unscathed.

new civilizations
could be birthed.
limitless potential
or at least thoughts of it
to share with neighbors
who will either think us
honorable or mentionable.

in the end
our noisy hearts will have
stomped on all the dreams
that never got accomplished
to make way for
it might be our only shot
at something next to genius:
our mind structure may not allow
for such plans now
but they keep the drawbridge lowered all day
so we could sneak in before dusk
if we had to
and scatter our influence everywhere.

ambition of our generation's
movers and shakers
is how they'd chalk up our behavior
on the giant bar graph
of the years,
having some overbearing need
to classify everything and everyone,
make them fit.

and those are the boundaries we'll defy
and such are the cuffs we'll saw
and these are the ropes we'll fray.
it has to be that way
or we might find
we're forgotten,
like Christmas trees thrown to the curb
in January
lacking celebration.

no one wants to be forgotten.
but few know how to make sure
it never occurs.
so i figure
if we take things into our own hands
cause a little stir
and even knock down some trees
so new ones can flourish,
new trees,
new ideas,
new wants,
new news,
we'll be fine.
bags are packed;
the time is now.

let's go ensure
that we locate some meaning
and make so many changes
that the world won't know what hit 'em.
we mustn't be let go.
we won't be forgotten.


Thursday, May 31, 2012

the birds, the humans

the birds showed off in warbles
of approval and distaste;
to mate or not to mate?

the humans grew weary of love games,
energies gone to hurried waste;
they halted and left it up to fate.


Monday, May 28, 2012

the rain in April

April showers
turned every thought
topsy-turvy like the sea:
unspeakable calm
interrupted by torrential storm
just so each side
would have its fair say.

Marching on through
as i vowed to do,
rays of light
seamed to soften the blow
of torments
that ought to have knocked me right down.

that, at last,
something would happen
that wouldn't drain me of all
i've worked for
or dreamed for.

the rain in April
made everything clearer,
cleansing all the disdain
that's so used to accumulating over time.

reconnections and reestablishments
proved less harmful than
wasting all of it away.
vision isn't extremely unclouded
but it's no longer
searching for answers in the dark
which is more help
than anyone's offered as of late.

the sea is all right with me
so long as it brings flowers
next time
and above all
follows through.


Thursday, May 24, 2012


i don't mind the lonely bus rides
to a town with a train station like
this morning, for instance,
the sun rose behind the six wind turbines and
you know how much i hate the country;
it was the kind of picture that makes you think
God really exists and that people could be born
good. the clouds had been drag-dropped in,
you'll have to drag me screaming
from this kind of prophetic proof.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

perhaps it was me who got it drunk

the piano has been drinking.

but then again i've been slamming on the keys
for the better part of the hour

so perhaps it was me who got it drunk.

i don't know who they want me to sound like
and i do know that i shouldn't care

but i'd be lying if i said i didn't.

my hands make better music when they're
flailing about over my head anyway.

the piano has been drinking...
perhaps it was me who got it drunk...


[this was inspired by a line/prompt i saw posted in another poetry community, "the piano has been drinking." i'm not sure where the original line comes from but i liked the sound of the line and wrote this piece off of that. it's nothing special, but it's certainly how i feel sometimes. i'll get better at these inspired/prompt pieces as i go along, i hope. x]

Monday, May 21, 2012

breathe and stand

it's a broken world
so we're bound to fall.
panic is unfurled,
a hindrance to all,
becomes our downfall.
it takes us down hard,
there's no looking back.
i play the wrong card;
can't avoid attack,
can't ever go back.
walls will waste away.
do not lean on one.
secrets of today
drown under the sun
when shelter has gone.
take a look around
to find your own place.
sorrows can abound
without a friend's face,
without embrace.
children always smile
but it can't mean much
when you walk for miles
without human touch,
without aid or crutch.
slipp'ry hands hang tight
for dear death or life,
clinging with all might
to anger and strife,
to elements of life.
when hope has crumbled,
when fear is at hand,
when faith has stumbled,
when nothing's been planned,
take a breath and stand.
grab hold of my hand.
i'm strong but humble.
i will help you stand.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

doomsday, beginning

so what happens now?
i am pushed to my limit.
doomsday, beginning.

another world war;
on the phone with headquarters
to reach some odd deal.

don't pretend it's not
something that's worth fighting for.
a light, a tunnel.

have another go
and try to make it matter
before time runs out...


Tuesday, May 15, 2012


suburban sunset rain falls down and i am
not walking in it or running in it
i am alive in it though i am witnessing
the maddening beauty of Mother Nature breaking
New Jersey's incessant heat wave this time around
Taylor takes pictures of it as if he'll never
see it again in his lifetime he may not who knows
i cross my legs on the coffee table it's not mine
it belongs to Starbucks but their furniture is so comfy
it feels like a living room with an impossible window
to heaven


Friday, May 11, 2012

don't stop me

after i've had a few Chardonnays
i become the world's most blatant flirt

and then whether you like it or not
i'll launch right into stories

about my fortuitous grandfather
and the decorated life he led

the Livestrong bracelet on my right wrist
i wear in memory of him and

the uneven battle he fought, the
only battle he did not win

and about how my heart never left
France even though my body did

and if you're lucky and the Chardonnay
has gone quick and direct to my head

i'll test out my French on you
if you can speak it, too, then

my flirting will turn serious
and we might see each other again someday

i will go on and on
if you don't stop me

and just for once, i must tell you
i would like not to be stopped


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

[breathe again.]

hi, lovelies.

thanks for sticking with me through the reworking of this blog, i rather like the way it is now. please, please, please comment if you like what you are reading, or if you have something to offer for improvement. i take my writing very seriously, and appreciate the feedback!

i've recently moved my life back to the States after living in France for seven months, so i'm working on getting my life back in order, looking for a job and organizing all of my things. if i pop in and out, that's why!

many of you write from prompts from other poetry blogs, some off of Poets United and some not, and i will be working that into my writing on here soon, so stay tuned. and thank you, as always, for reading.

peace and love
dlf xo

Sunday, May 6, 2012

no bottle for it anyway

i threw my hat across the Atlantic
figuring it would be easier to get back to you
than the standard message; i had
no bottle for it anyway, not
one to hold all i want to say.

homeward bound
i knew you'd keep it safe for me
until i could thank you in traded breath
and spill the contents of a stained glass chest
without making a mess of everything.

sometimes even i
don't know my own strength.
keep me, keep me here.


Thursday, April 26, 2012

quick as it came

everything was still
except for trepidation on lips and breath.
a sort of unsettling, thorough dormancy.
the broken ground and its
blanket of hostility
screamed reality.
a pair of witnesses
had sealed their fate
the year before
and agreed to encounter this milestone
to the chagrin of the surroundings.
they captured their only chance amid a glance
and when the storm erupted
it shattered the hourglass they'd so often studied,
claiming them for its own.
the sand had shifted
into overdrive,
indicating the final toleration
of all this.
it was done,
as quick as it came
with two more lives to its name.
soon it would conquer.
oh yes, it was going to conquer.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

last in line


it is not a crime
to be last in line
in someone's mind.

it is a shame
to be last in line
in yours.


to be last in line,
a meaning
altered over time.
children are told
where they should go
and the last is forgotten,
subjected to ridicule.

at fifteen
the last grows mad,
paints her fingernails black,
makes love to a razor
and never looks back
at the world
that didn't look back for her.

into adulthood
and it's the hell with you,
on no one's wait list
and confined to solitary musing,
slowly falling back
to last in your own mind.


in someone's mind
is the wish;
better yet,
in the heart
and stuck there,
adhesive affections.


it is a shame,
the connotations
of last place
that have become standard.

last is nobody's
favorite number,
yet it's never least?
an unfair juxtaposition.

sometimes last
wins the race
but it never feels like victory.


to be last in line,
every time;
it's draining
to remain there
in the mind.


in yours
i have always been last
in mine
you have always been first.

it is not a crime but
it is a shame.


Sunday, April 22, 2012

shouldn't still

i'm angry at my heart.

it still beats fastest
for you
after all these years
when i'm well aware
i shouldn't still love you.

you've given me reason enough
to have gotten over it:
misinterpreting playful words for offensive ones,
calling me out on things you were ashamed of,
never berating your unruly ego
for trying to compete with mine.
it's clear your self-worth
relies on how many people
have downloaded your songs on iTunes.

i have never denied your talent.
in fact, most days i envy it.
but if all those soul-searchers had seen
your darker side like i have,
they wouldn't revere you half as much.

your darker side
seems to be the part of you
that you never reign in
when it comes to me;
have you discovered my game
or do you simply think me idiotic?

either way i suppose
i ought to stop telling strangers
that you're my best friend from high school
so they don't get the wrong idea.

...and even if i did
it still wouldn't be any less true
that all of the love poetry i've written
now or long ago
has been for you,
you moron.


Friday, April 20, 2012

a new girl now like always

i nearly forgot that i have to write
a poem today, and then i remembered

that there are only two pages left
in this poetry journal here and it

made me want to go write
right away because i love i love

the finality that comes with completion
of eight months' worth of thought

put deliberately on so many different days,
in so many different states of mind. i'm

on the very last page now and it feels
fucking fantastic to be here; what

a journey it has been and i am of course
a new girl now like always

when i reach the end and it's
bitter and it's sweet and it's

time. a mirror to my own life --
it's time for something new for me,

too, an adventure i can ride through
beaming from the rush.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

word bath

put me on another poetry diet,
some days i can't get enough.
it's good for me to bathe in words
trying to find some i haven't yet used;
i depend too much on others to inspire me
when i can't make sense of what i've
been given. but without seeing what others are
creating i'll never be able to create
something better. we all have philosophies
and i try hard to follow mine.

when i'm done pulling out hairs still
attached to my head i'll make something up
and hope it matters. if not i'm slinking back
to the word bath hoping it will throw me a strong enough line
before i drown in recycled filth.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012


fortresses crumble;
souls are pawned;
proud men will stumble;
still i press on.


Monday, April 16, 2012

neat little charms

and in the next few moments we
might find our little pleasantries
if you could only
graduate to me.

what has she that i haven't?
she's pretty.
i have a beautiful soul.
it's not perfect, but it's beautiful.

she laughs at your jokes
but you never really did
put much stock in them;
are you putting on a front for her
or am i made naive among your untruths?

from the way she looks at you
and the ease with which her tolerance falters
after a few mimosas
i'm lead to believe she'll give you everything
without you asking --
everything except her self-respect, that is,
if she can even find any.
i'd never be so brazen
with you
just like i'd never be so easily intoxicated
on anything in life
but whiskey or you.

she's affording you her flesh
and limited affections
to make herself feel better,
not to please you.
throw away.
i'd be there
through even your ugliest days
and i'd make you happy
because i wanted to,
nothing in it for me but the satisfaction
that you're content
on my efforts and company --
not disposable.

her charms are merely meant
to conceal how she's been used
by so many before you in the past
because she lets them use her.
i almost feel pity,
but her chances of extracting such pure emotion from me
might be better
were she not using
as her latest pawn
in some sick chess game
you've already lost.

the fact that it's
makes everything not OK
this time.

but as usual
i'm unarmed and not briefed to take action.
all i can do
is watch her move through you
destroying all the genuineness you were born with
and turning you slowly to stone.

i'll wait,
a fool at court
only required for sideline entertainment,
and when she's left you
open-hearted and overheated
you'll wonder where you went wrong
and i'll assure you again
that you went wrong
when you chose her
over me,
her with her neat little charms.

and you'll grin at such thought,
mistaking my disdain for friendly banter
like always
thinking me a good companion
but not a lover.
never more than that
as a rule
(more on your part
than mine).

and so it goes,
and by now i'm well-learned in the subject
of you
and those neat little charms
that had me hooked when you first said,
'hey, i like your style.'

notice how i know you better
than any of the bittersweet tarts
who bargain for your time.
i know you better.

i know that you like to hear yourself talk
and that you'd die a slow, painful death
if you were forbidden to play guitar.
i know what your parents do for a living
and who you were named after
and why.
i know you prefer chunky peanut butter
like me
and i know we can harmonize like no other
when we want to
(like when we sang White Christmas at the senior center
that one time
with pride).

you're occupied
with the newest plaything
who will suck your soul dry
but who am i to prevent you?
until you grow up and
graduate to me,
you'll forever be lost in familiar neat little charms
and so
i'll go.


[this is one of the first honest pieces i ever allowed myself to write to the man who once was the muse for most of my love poetry. it's clear i had jaded views on love then, and it's interesting to see how i write about love now. this sort of evolved into more of a ranty letter to him than a poem. x]

Friday, April 13, 2012

redesign (once yours)

baby's on the phone again
producin' a seducin' scheme.
if you could see how he treats me,
how his boldness beats me down,
it's some poor soul's unfortunate dream
(but none of mine).

you can't make substance out of air:
(it's obvious when there's nothing there).

you can't make substance out of air
and he can't take back his words.
baby's gone home.
he's grey when he's alone --
i throw away all i've heard.

it is a feeling so absurd
(to feel as if you're never heard).

and then i'd be so much less inspired
after the fight, the fake-out and the fall.
i suggest to his heart
as my own stops with a start --
what if i mean nothing at all?

to mean nothing in the world at all
to the one person in the world who means something --
(what, if i gave to the game,
would i expect your heart to deliver?).

baby's on the phone again
and i'm all out of sense.
this makes me want to know
if i should stay or i should go
repaint the white picket fence.

a dream's redesign,
once yours, now only


Tuesday, April 10, 2012


i take my coffee always with cream
mostly because it tastes good
and removes some of the bitterness
because life, it can be bitter
but also because i like the way
the cream
in my coffee cup,
the meeting of worlds,
cosmic collisions
right beneath my fingertips
and i just want to watch it all settle,
filling space and changing color,
but usually i mix it up myself
life tastes better that way


Friday, April 6, 2012

beauty, the sea

the sea has its own ways of
showing its affection,
always changing with the tide,
seducing stars at its will
and swallowing up sailors for breakfast.

it sounds harsh but when you think about it,
it's a thing of beauty, the sea.


Thursday, April 5, 2012


the words went away and
she wanted to cry at the loss but
instead she let her heart carry the
things she wanted to say and
a stringy stream of thoughts became
the core of all her muddled misgivings that
had enjoyed floating around, unused in
the negative space in bedridden head, and
she breathed when at last she saw those
words she'd subconsciously conjured in
tandem opposition to her need to write and
she marveled at such results from a
frantic girl, not keen to surrender her tongue just


Wednesday, April 4, 2012


only faded frame and sepia tones
could keep Evelyn at bay;
she was vivacious:
her spirit needed to soar
over all the petty people
in their pretentious poses.

in her own,
she should appear to her descendants as
nothing less than

they will so cleverly discern that
this is the woman
whose voyage to the States
from Lausanne
she'd documented fervently
in the galloping French of her homeland;
each day she wrote,
no matter how distasteful, rude
the 'dirty' Italians were
or how poorly the beer
matched that of Europe --
the curse of a cruise ship's offering.

the stateliness of set shoulders,
the beadiness of darkened eyes
would speak of her will to live
while others fell to plagues
they were doomed to contract,
unable to dispel contaminated blood
even for their lifelines:
Evelyn's story had not yet been told.
she would not depart
until she was sure
she would be remembered,
and most accurately at that.

her portrait could not betray her
a century and a half later:
severe features in face had been softened
by love's unassuming touch;
the journey from Switzerland
had been more than stake for opportunity --
it had been her fortuitous fate.
hair gathered neatly under full-brimmed hat,
hands folded and positioned squarely
on her lap, pressed to perfection,
she was clearly faithful
not only as eager wife
but also as ardent mother
and most importantly
as a lady who'd created this life
for herself.

she would be thought admirable.
she would be thought persistent.
and should the muted tones of her dress,
the impenetrable high-collared blouses
or the sheer absence of force-fed grin
prove otherwise,
then you have not taken measure
to properly know her
at all.


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

i have more me's to become

my goodbye shoes have been on
for days and now that i've scratched parting words

into all my exotic stones here my
heart tells me to look back.

it's forgotten something.
i don't like the way that feels

but i also have no zest left to fight it.
i made that bargain long ago so that

i'd stay sane in this little fraying head.
but there's always a reason to stay.

four days on i might have changed my mind
but some bridges i prefer to burn

before the crossing -- making my
own exit that much harder and then

i will ask myself why i do this
over and over and never really wait around

for the answer. i have more me's
to become; i pull the laces a bit

tighter and keep going, it's better
that i don't set them down in one place

for too long lest i forget
where i am and where i put them.


Monday, April 2, 2012

fooling even me

i can't go home
and nothing fits.
the world surrounding me now
forces me to listen,
to share,
to conform,
and i'm not ready.
i long for a smile
other than my own,
one that will radiate love
and be genuine.
i try to be myself
and wind up fooling even me.
there is no reason to be unhappy --
but there is no reason to be happy.
i am not allowed to escape.
i am not allowed to sing.
tears go unanswered
as they hope for a lonely puddle
to contribute to.
unity is respect,
and respect is undefined,
like this portrait of myself
whose frame i've been trying to fill
for far too long.


Sunday, April 1, 2012

generation's tragedy

i remember where i was
when the planes hit.
it was 11am, 4th period,
United States History
and i was fifteen.
the closest thing i'd known
to death
had been the loss of a classmate
at the mercy of four squealing, bloody wheels
two years prior.
i didn't understand it then
and that new September
was no different,
as i was green and just cracking the surface
of coming-of-age and coming alive
in a school full of know-it-alls and small-town heroes
on the brinks of their dreams.

i wish i had been older,
who i am now
(a bit more confident and wise,
a little less jaded and intimidated)
in order to have truly comprehended
the magnitude
of the history i was witnessing.
because at fifteen
the only concerns for a girl
spinning in the world
are writing love notes never meant to be read
and trying to skirt the plasticity of stereotypes
that become so easy to fall into.

i don't believe at such a desperate age
thoughts of the world as we know it
being rocked and shaken down
like Jenga tiles
are present.

yet there i sat, my peers sat,
in sophomoric seats
as teacher put on a grave face
and said,
'our nation is currently under attack.'
we hung on the statement,
prepared to dive into another flashback lesson
heralding the country's pages and years.

teacher stood steadfast in place
but the towers did not.
and then we knew this day
wouldn't be like any other.
a kind of smooth pandemonium
evolving through locker-lined hallways
through linoleum footfalls and up into physical soles
and eventually,
into less-tangible souls.

it was soon apparent
that history books would require rewrites.

i didn't really begin to comprehend
it all
until the old algebra teacher --
the curmudgeony one
who took no prisoners if you were a smart aleck
and whom students avoided like the plague
when it came time to schedule classes --
ran from the recluse of her room
wings sprouting from her heels,
tears escaping her eyes for her son in the city.
it wasn't until then
that i truly understood
what this was going to do to me,
to us, to the country and maybe even
the world.

and the coursework ceased
while televisions blared, one after another,
messengers of terror unfolding.
to this day i'm not sure which was worse:
watching firefighters forging ahead into
flame and fury
hoping to find someone alive
or watching toy soldier bodies
momentarily animated, flailing,
plunging out of windows,
hoping to die on the way down
before the ground could have its say.
i couldn't really blame them;
i'd much prefer to be in control of my fate
than to perish at some unknown time
at the hand of all-consuming hatred.

still it is the most gruesome thing
to think of bones and blood splayed on cement,
the sound of the impact,
the crushing of life,
and the sheer pain of it all
even though there was nothing left for them to feel
by then.

the days wore on
and the more the media beat things to death
and the more the weight of it all
washed over me
the more i wanted to throw up
and bawl for days
at the horror.

i was fifteen then.
i'm twenty-three now.

it's still as chilling

other disasters since,
while devastating in their own right,
could never make me feel
this way,
this shattered
for i will never be fifteen again
and i will never be in that state of mind again.
i will never be in 10th grade
wondering if i know anyone who works in New York City
i will never again be stuck at school until 3:30
when all i want to do is run home
and cry.
i will never again feel so insignificant
among so many people who are
feeling the same thing.

i'll never forget where i was.
my father still says that
about the day John F. Kennedy was shot.

i suppose
this is my generation's
Kennedy assassination.
and the generation before?
probably something to do
with Pearl Harbor or D-Day
or something.

maybe each generation's tragedy
is meant to make us think
maybe we're supposed to tell our children
about it
in hopes that they'll be prepared
when another one goes down
and shocks the world.

or maybe they keep it to themselves
you can never actually ready yourself
for something
as horrific as this.