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.