Friday, January 25, 2013


i met him unexpectedly
someplace we both wanted to be.
he claimed to be a friend
of a friend
but turned out to be much more in the end.
his face could erase
all the empty space
in my head
and replace it all with humility instead.

i didn't like what he did to me,
or maybe i did;
it was too early to tell
and i was sometimes independent,
but my heart knew me well.
i found myself stumbling over him,
dangling from him,
and soon it became clear
i was into his ways,
and so went the days
as i took it all in stride
and for once, vowed not to hide.

he didn't require words
to dutifully inquire;
just needed a beat
and a place for hire,
a full-blown choir.
he struck my every chord
and i'd beg someone's holy lord
to keep him in my weary life,
by His will or by his own accord.

a long time ago
i cared for one so
but he turned out to be
naught more than shadow.
he haunted my nights
and it took an end-all plea
before i could break free.

this one knew the time
and without reason or rhyme
was nothing with which to compare
the desperations of despair,
for he knew me and although
i couldn't really say
i was his favorite show,
it wasn't hopeless as long ago.

he brought me to my knees
with the greatest of ease
and still i was unsure
if maybe i was tangled in something
more than my heart could handle
or just kindling a new candle
of adventurous aspiration.
could be my damnation
or my salvation.

come what may,
he was perfection
and his aura in its reflection
told me not to fret,
that he wouldn't sell his soul
for anything alive
or objectified.
he made a vow
and i didn't understand
but i know it now --
he won't drag me down,
make me cry, steal my crown.
he'll be
an honest accessory
and i shall then be
valiant exclusively.


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

checkerboard friends

red and black, checkerboard friends.
here we go.
i'll be light and you'll be dark
like our souls
and the first move will be mine
because you always prefer to have the last word.
diagonal pawn
i am
calculating my next move
and then it's all mind games and ticking off turns.
back and forth
on the fence and on the move.

the shape of an L for
the nobleman that you are
but you can't fool me.
i'll take the straight line to the end
to get a piece of myself back.
you'll return it because you have to.
those are the rules.

the king seems to have all the power
but his moves are limited,
and therein lies your mistake.
it's truly the queen,
who has all the power,
command of the board now.

watch me as i defeat you
thought by thought
word for word
piece by piece,
fluidly through the madness
across numbers and squares
and the awesome force of your hand
can't do a thing
because the control paradigm has shifted;
i had to crouch to your level and
play this despicable game with you,
a game you've gotten good at over the years
but haven't quite perfected.

off you go to a comfortable corner
where hiding has become a futile excuse
to all you are,
but laid out here in front of me
in plain view --
checkerboard friends,
checkerboard life --
i can see your thoughts
before you can voice them,
what otherwise might evolve into insult or injury.
and for the first time
the flaws in your thinking are apparent, too,
the flaws in the righteousness you claim,
the flaw in the plan
and now you'll offer a waltz for peace,
ample chance to trip me up
and then make your final kill.

but if you'd been anything close to sincere
you'd have seen
the trap i've been setting for you
from the get-go.
i'm here and you're over there,
hand outstretched for a dance
but in the midst of your inaugural bow the queen has triumphed.
ivory over ebony,
good over evil,
woman over monster.

a whispered farewell now
for you
and some sort of closure now for me
in the form of

here we go, here
we go.


Saturday, January 12, 2013

at nineteen

well, well
it's a fine time for rustling up feelings
of dogwood summers
i left behind for you
back when i was wide-eyed enough to do
such a thing. and
i left a lot behind for you.
but we're not untouchables.
i laugh that we were ever considered so
in such web-crossed minds as
ours at nineteen.
i didn't quite know what to make of you.

i chose my wave not knowing
it would turn me black and blue
and drain me of the rest of my color,
transfused into your veins
when you were finished with me
(so you could go on living
and i could become parasitic, pathetic).

how i tripped over you.
your play-thirsty lips were begging
to be slaked
and i did not want
to leave them parched
but i did
and immediately wished i hadn't
for i lost you then
right then.

ignorance is not any sort of bliss
when it comes to you and me;
i spent months as your shadow,
dumb and matching your moves
but always a minute behind. when
i let my voice mix with your broken harmony
i also found that i was jaded.
how does it feel, i wonder
to know that you're the one who jaded me.
i have known many versions of love
but yours was by far
the most brutal.

i want back, if anything
except time and some tears,
the faith in love i abandoned
to breathe to your