In the Charleston marketplace, a boutique auctions off

detailed limited edition replicas of black history: a slave

who hugs his chains upright over his porcelain hands,

is sold for $1200.00 to a man with a black Amex card,

a horde listening to the Emancipation Proclamation

goes for the same amount, Malcolm X gets $1000.00,

MLK just a little less, the OJ bobble heads sell for $60.00

in the store’s gift shop while the white Bronco in

slow pursuit complete with flashing police lights

and breathless live commentary garners $2400.00,

Rosa Parks languishes at the rear eventually getting $300.00,

Eric Garner, Treyvon Martin, Rodney King are

part of lot sold for $500.00 clearance and a free

Black Lives Matter T-shirt, George Floyd gasping out

“I can’t breathe,” enshrined in a porcelain halo nabs

the same price, while the last figurine, of his murderer

being embraced by a very happy Donald Trump is

purchased by a man in a MAGA hat for $10,000.00.



A Day for Love

Pick a day.
The random date generator chose:
January 13, 1835
There are still generations formed
from those that fell in
love, married,
birthed sons and daughters
on that day.
Each an unrepeatable existence.

Family lore and crests
enshrine the first kiss,
the birds that soared the sky,
the color of flowers in his/her hand,
words spoken and written in the heart,
the dress she wore,
the beard he had
and discarded or kept,
the Fahrenheit/Celsius of
the exact hour, minute second
of their first heat,
the time that their fingers
stopped accidentally
brushing against each other,
the number of teeth
shown in the first smile.

Count the time
from first hello to last goodbye.
Enshrine that number
of seconds, minutes, hours,
days, weeks, months, years,
in the tales told about them
by their children.
Knit together
all the overlapping
welcomes and farewells
into the colorful threads
of all the houses born and fallen.

I look at that history
and I love you
solidly in the echoes
of all the past.
You fill my time,
even my sadness.
I have gazed too long
Into the light of you.
I only see
the burnt-in after glow
of all the whiteness.

Wind Shear

The oaks perceiving the assailing breeze shiver off  their nuts, swallows and squirrels


upwards to a dark fearful sky

that camouflages broken peace in the wild promises

of the swirling winds.


Night breaks night—

smashing every compass point in impatience.

Bricks stem to snow, the wind ghosts every leaf

in mournful woe.


The wasp tail shears enter in breathing

a final winter to her old house.


Inside her chest the wind hornets sting her,

with the loneliness of the yet and not yet to be.


The sofa pillows fly down the stairs

saving her small barking dog ascending the dark.


She hears black birds caw to her in the chaos,

the bully air stabbing in sharp awe,

stabbing her aware.


She knows it now.  She sees the reason and agrees.


Waiting for the Hungry Ocean

I am oxygen for you are the sky.

We exist only
because rain has formed the sea.

Our memory is buried
in every tide.

It waters swim inside
the roots of our blood.

The fluid of our language,
rippling stories in the school of words.

The bits of dreaming
are collected in clay pots.

Our thoughts are birds skittering
in the branches above the swirl.

Existence is the milky fish eyes
floating lifeless on the ocean’s surface.

Our kisses evaporate in the air,
not even dripping onto the
silent sea life nor sinking into the marl.

Our love is a bowl of feathers
waiting to form flight.

Until then are only meaning
waits in the icebox for the oven to warm.

Underwater, famished mermaids are eager to eat
the dreams and hopes of our sated angels.

Shelter in Place

My dog finds a conch nestled in the sand-
half dead, half alive- in the foaming tide,
She paws at its exposed pinkness
ignoring the hermit crab seeking shelter.

The conch shrivels beyond its lip
the scent of dead flowers pouring out,
my dog in a frenzy to taste its exotic flesh,
this beautiful creature sheltering in place.

Resisting the urge to pluck it from its shell
I pick it up and toss it beyond her scent,
beyond the fear, disease, the quarantine
I must always return to in silence.

As the shell sinks back to its home,
I now know everything dies in the sand.

Hymn For Our Past and Future

For my reversal and recovery,

For my wife’s lost womb,

For a future free of cancers,

For the old brick house

toppled in the wolf tornado,

For the new cradle being

raised on an ancient cry of earth,

For the mothers who died

never seeing their children wed,

For rescued memories stuck on cardboard,

For dawning days of gray hair

and salt crusted smiles,

For all the altars yet to be built and crossed,

For all the twisted trees floating on rippled tides,

For all the roads, maps, stains and travails

that forged our life, created this prayer,

this hymn I sing.

Waiting on the Promise

Wait, I spoke
to the highest star.
It winked
and bowed to dawn.

Wait, I spoke to the low sun
that set.

Wait, moon.
It just glowed on,
gracing, gifting me with bright words

Wait, I spoke to my sad heart.
It beat as a heart does,
disobedient less it stop
trembling and just soon die.

Wait, to my brain
questioning all the high lights,
the bright horizon near,
all the lunatic noise.
They looked forth
changing faces, never silent, stopping.

Wait, I spoke to my love.
She answered,
Yes, heart.

My Preop Wish

One night when skies have donned their stars

And parted the lunar drapes

Scattering silent bats to afar

To huddle with their mates,

We’ll fix our eyes northward, my dear,

To distant lush Spring realms

Where musicians play songs with cheer

And nothing overwhelms.


And we shall travail lovely streets

With restaurants and bakeries,

Serving all your favorite treats,

And just your recipes.

Here we shall build a homey manor

With ovens to bake tarts,

Rooms I can pen my psalters,

Hearts sharing each’s art.



On Seeing My Old Crooked Tree Uprooted After the Tornado

I loved this old crooked tree

that refused to grow straight

with the sky but willed itself

to stretch with the horizon,

limbs resisting what every oak

near it wanted— to kiss the sun.


It had a brother, long since cut down,

its stump never uprooted, ground to chips.

Decades of weeping, trying to caress its kin,

had left it defiantly stunted, a hunchback

to its grief, its refusal to be another proper tree,

limbs desiring earth’s comfort to cloud’s hope.


The tornado swept south and

my old brick house was

left a blasted finger to its whims.

The old crooked tree was uprooted

like all the others oaks, yet granted the mercy

of caressing its waiting brother in its final fall.


My wife spent the time after the uprooting

like all the others after the storm,

dealing with the adjusters, collecting

the ashes, saving the memories that remained.

No thoughts of trees preoccupied her

and I was convalescing from cancer surgery.


Before we moved into a temporary place,

before the winds of rebuilding where beginning,

I asked for a quick drive by to see the damage

because I only imagined the destruction

from the aching confines of a hospital bed

and needed to firmly root it to mind and soul.


The reality was a little worse than the imagining.

The roof was gone, only an L of bricks remained.

The PTSD, anxiety, the sheer exhaustion

was already planting in my wife.

I cried for her. I cried for the last sight

of the old tree hugging stump, earth beneath.


Collecting Beach Glass After the Storm

I never thought brick dreams could tumble in the wind.

My wife collects our scattered memories in a undersized bin

like a child on the tide line collecting beach glass and seashells.

She listen for the sound of blood amidst the dying wind

mistaking rustling pages for her breath cycling in and out,

her pulse beating on the surface of paper, cloth and wood.

She searches for artifacts that match/mismatch my cancer-

the progeny the tornado left scattered in the brick and wallboard.


I listen to the wind and rain ping on my ward’s windows

unaware of her scavenging, unable to sleep in the harsh light

that doesn’t erode the pain or the glitter of memory,

the constant Kabuki of nurses, doctor and blood drawers,

the chant of machines that make me mistake

the sterile for the sacred, the soundtrack for the profound.

I see my wife in the mud, inches from my eyes,

putting away the jagged, clear granules of our life.



I will wait for you
when the need for me
make your thing stand
like a sword looking for what to stab.

I will wait for you
when you are done
feasting with Felicia and
holding secret meetings with Hannah.

I will wait for you
when the need for me
tear through your boxers
and you beg like a child
promising to run on volcano.

I will wait for you
when Aisha close her shop
to reopen it for Sulaimon
and you run home
like a man demented beyond redemption.

I will wait for you
when your numerous adventures
make me turn to face the wall
and you complain how badly
my sleep took away your sleep.



more like lies in disguise that cries every time

they dare open

so is it not better to keep them closed?


instead i decided to ice them

with my prose

red as the rose

that fell apart as it grazed my cheek

and didn’t smell so sweet


liquid oppression

liquid oppression

define a suggestion

that brightens up the day

or night

you come without a single fight

reminding me of what time it is tonight

and might never be again

droopy suppression

causing infection

on the forefront of my brain

the pain

keeps me grasping at the insane

telling me to look into the darkness

whenever i need a mirror

pain and sin

what if i twisted further

for you, than anybody else ever  had

and what if i replied faster,

for you, when you talked to me feeling sad

what if i smiled and laughed

for you, did all the things to draw you in

and gave you what i said was love

when it was really just pain and sin.



is a color

of money and luck

of gambling and rambling

but saying all the wrong stuff

green is the color

of life’s unripe fruit

and what covers the world

after the flowers have bloomed

but green’s also the color

of envy and greed

of terrible torture

infections unseen

green is the color

we can’t live without

but the color that many

wish to be without.

sung, their last song

young, deliberately sticking out my

tongue, at the creatures sitting by my window who’ve

sung, their last song because all

along, the crash was

wrong, the fears were

right, and now

tonight, we take up the

fight, against the

one, who knows all

and will always leave us behind.

lonely gray

love not love (lonely)

lust not lust (lonely)

pride not pride (lonely)

make every teenager’s phony heart cry

black not black (gray)

white not white (gray)

here not there (gray)

remember when colors didn’t feel so far away?

lonely gray horse

stands by the very edge of the fields

and reels in pain

against the fence posts trying to contain its brain

in shame

it crumbles, like the cookie

you’d think it was a rookie but

its seen this charade in far too many parades

so it stands there some more, a slave

to the lonely gray

that prays

to the silence

that surrounds it.

Silver Linings

Through disaster she stops her pining

There may just be a silver lining

Her lifeblood no longer quickly drains

From her old and deep and weary veins

No longer does it hurt to breathe

No smoggy air to make her wheeze

Regaining sight and through the tears

She hadn’t seen the stars for years

Skin once wrinkled begins to heal

And younger she begins to feel

For a while, she thinks, it will be easier

As Mother Nature sits and takes a breather…

That Night


That night

I was lumbering like

a tired leaf
fear mounting in my breasts.

You came in with a smile
like a hunter
carrying the biggest game.

Drums broke into the room
and voices waiting
for the crimson stain
on the woolly fabric.

I am the river
you the swimmer
diving deep into my root.

I flushed as you pound
lost between pleasure and pain
till you arrived safely inside of me.

My heart pound with a terrible quake
as you searched in vain
for the crimson stain on the woolly fabric.


Always have been looking for

Running about tirelessly

My messy feet

Disturbed many people


My immature enthusiasm

Blown up by hot dust

Hanging from the treetops

In front of passers-by


This fire of youth

Burning with the utmost sincerity

And with a great bang

Looks a little reckless

(And at the same time

A bit shabby

So can’t reach the moon and flowers)

The end is nothing more than

Into a silent smoke


This flag of youth

Now at the end of the road

After many setbacks

It has become ragged

Night Hunters

Squeezing through this conceited darkness
Over tired auricles and some sacred places
Wretched demons flapping their nonsense wings
chanting incantations and their idiot songs,
Callous prongs of a thousand raucous rogues
Unleashing torments like a gang of thieves

Twirling and cussing on my crabby couch
The cruel night sneers at my skimpy slumber
I hear these conversations trending everywhere

I hear it deep down in my confused reverie
Said my dear blood is as sweet as nectars
So they came with their greedy temperaments
Impertinent strangers seeking wars and mouthfuls
Protruding proboscis piercing painfully through
Sucking hurriedly, like impenitent leeches

For these ambassadors of misery,
Purveyors of some ninety-nine plagues
I have beaten myself in honour of them
Burning incense of unwanted sacrifice
but they’ll pity me not, their obstinate souls
So I am out for you, O night hunters
I am out to crush your wretched bones
And strike you down till you leave my home
What shall I do with you little rascals?
When my children cannot play with you


people always ask if she means me

but she is what I want to be

she is she who speaks to me

the person I am in my dreams who

it’d seem doesn’t quite have life figured out but

she tries her hardest and speaks her mind and finds the words that want to rhyme

she is me when I’m awake

she is me when I’m not fake and

away from the thoughts of society and culture as it swoops down on me like a deadly vulture and I

find myself different than she wants me to be

am i?

Sometimes I’m still unsure

Do I really feel what i see?

Or have i gotten so good at hiding that i don’t even

Know what’s still actually me

Sometimes I’m still uncertain

Am i hiding behind a curtain?

A melody of words and phrases

Devised to make you think I’m going places when

In reality I’m just sitting at home

Maybe doing work, maybe on my phone

maybe doing everything and nothing at the same time

By pretending that along the way i learned how to rhyme when

In reality i had to stop myself

Put the words back on their shelf

Or else they’ll manage to find their way out and

That would be disaster, without a doubt.

Sometimes i still wonder

Who will look between

Look between the words and see

That in reality

I’m really just me.

you’ll find

speaking speeches softly so

you’ll find you don’t quite hear me

because I’ll hide in a place that you can’t really see me

I’ll hide in your darkest memories

that you tried so hard to keep from the world

behind all your deepest secrets

everything that makes you cold

and icy, and bitter, and cruel

around this world I’ll rule with

am iron fist as you smile softly so I

softly tighten my grip on the soft innocence of your heart because

God knows what’ll happen if

I break it apart

so that makes two, me and you

except you don’t know anything apart

from what is blue and what’s not true

pain’s your only friend

so take a step and catch your breath

before they catch a clue.

insane brain

I don’t trust myself

With speaking my mind

I’d rather close all the doors

Leave my lies locked inside

I’ll staple my tongue

To keep paragraphs out

So I can smile and laugh

Without having a doubt

But the tips of my fingers

They’re starting to bleed

With words that the world

Was never meant to see

And as I grabbed a sheet of paper

To mop them all up

All the stanzas and verses

Decide to interrupt

They begin to organize themselves on the page

Probably just playing

But I’m screaming in pain

Trying to stop their saying

Because now I have nowhere left to hide

Except for this insane brain of mine.

a reading of the soul

She opened her book

Slowly at first

Didn’t really like how it looked

But she gave it a verse

And inside her brain

Next to the secrets she’d hid

Was a place they say sane

Could never comfortably live

Driven out by the notions, implications of joy

When asked where it went, it only stood there annoyed

But back to the story

Her mind was in awe

Trapped in a web

Full of character flaws

But halfway through the book

It all screeched to a halt

The words stung and they burned

Like a wound full of salt

The pages all laughed

As paragraphs cut like knives

And she wanted to stop

But control had long left her mind

So she read until the final page was wet

Dripping with all her sorrows and regret

And she’d vowed to never make a mistake quite the same

But to be truly in love, sometimes mistakes must be made.


They’re built from the ashes

Of a world far away

We beg and we plead

They still refuse to stay

You can’t call them people, or pictures, or sounds

Not even the feeling

When the soul runs unbound

They’re not made of words

The human head hears

But rather compiled of the whispers

The human heart holds dear

And the words that you’ll find

They both equally fear.

the c-word

Every day exactly the same

Nothing different

Simple and plain

Monotony seems to be the key

Living for all of eternity

But what is life without the chance?

Living in fear, stuck in a trance.

But in walks wonder

And she doesn’t like what she sees

Showing me colors, finally free.

I dance in the wind

My cares all behind me

But what I can’t see is consequence, creeping up behind me.

what do we seek

She was the dark during midnight

And the light before dawn

The deep breath before a secret

And the sigh after it’s gone

She was crashing ocean waves

As they came and breached the shore

And a tiny little river

Knowing it could be much more.

She was the smell of rain in the spring

And the ashes in the air

She was laughter at midnight

And the sound of deep despair

She was howling winds by the coast

As they swept throughout the beach

And a breath in winter weather

As you search for what you seek.

november meoldy

Her hair was made for windy days

Walking by the coast

As you sit and watch the summer waves

Play and breach and boast.

Her smile made the stars all stare

Shining extra bright

Wishing that they could keep it there

Even come the light.

Her eyes shimmered like dark stardust

Chocolate in the night

Such deep and brown and thoughtful depth

Ever full of delight.

midsummer music

We see the stars up in space

Marvel at their fate

And it seems we tend to forget

Our own endless chase.

It’s easy to forget, looking up at the night sky

The people who’ve wronged you, those who made you cry

And it’s easy to remember

How those you love are so close by.

But if you find yourself too often

Looking up above

Remember by the time their light reaches you

Already darkness they’ve become.

what can you do?

A fall of your breath, an ache in your chest

A desire to run, to jump, maybe jest

Hope abounds in you today

Gone are the troubles, the fear of yesterday

It watches you close

Keeps you near

But then, suddenly, enter the fear!

Will you quell the river? Or will it quell you?

They offer you a choice, but what can you do?

For even if you fell the river, you lose what is true

And gone will be those you considered close to you

But if you take the fall, is it not better for them all?

No worries for them, but misery for you.

Tell me please, what is there to do?

Nothing can be done, you and pain are now one

Watching through a broken lens

Aching inside, but happy friends

The world is good, the grass is green

The water’s clear, the air is clean

But the sun burns your skin

It hurts your eyes

The water heals your skin, but it breaks you inside.

The grass cuts your feet, every breath pains your lungs

And try as you might, they hurt too much to run

Then, you faintly hear them laugh, the occasional cheer

The blind can see! The deaf can hear!

But you cannot, perhaps the lighting is just bad here?

Every trouble of the world,

It all comes upon you,

The hate, the hurt,

It all slowly binds you

You fall from your beautiful place in the sky,

But no, no, they will not see you cry

And still they come, you turn away

And watch from the dark, far, far away

Trying to live in the past, and you miss the today.

Was it worth it?

They are happy, yes, it’s true

But was it worth the expense of you?

To know the joy, we must feel the sorrow

Break to the point where there’s no light from tomorrow

And then, slowly, a candle is clued.

Do you light it, or not?

It’s all up to you.


What do I want, what do I need?

What are these voices fighting inside of me?

Why can’t I just agree with myself,

Not torn between two sides,

The elf on the shelf.

Sometimes I wonder what it’s like not to be so stubborn

Both sides of my brain constantly bothering the other.

“But what about this?”

“What about that?”

Over and over till I’m about to snap

Going round and round in your head

Whispering as you go to bed

Then it’s yelling in your ear

Keep it down, please, there are people here

An entrancing melody as you fall asleep

Sometimes I even hear it weep

The only silence I’ve ever had

Is when I’m good and truly glad

And that’s when it retreats inside its cage

Waiting for my feelings to inevitably cave.

little pieces

They stole her little pieces

The ones they thought she wouldn’t mind

Like her joy in the morning

When the sun came to shine

They took tiny things

Like how she’d look at the stars

Forever with wonder

Trying to pick out mars

They grabbed little moments

Like how she’d laugh until she’d cry

And how her voice rose

When she was telling a lie

They stripped her of these things

They thought she’d no longer need

What they didn’t know

Was they planted a seed

She now took for granted

Every time the sun would rise

And she’d only turn away

Annoyed, avert her eyes

She no longer found wonder

Searching through the stars

She was too old for such nonsense

Who cared about seeing mars?

She couldn’t remember how to laugh

It only wastes time

Life was moving too fast

For her to be caught in a crime

She’d made a mistake

Opening her doors

Now her pieces were scattered

All over the floor

And though she longed to collect them

She was simply too bored

Why is it all so silent?

the beginnning

from the time she was little she

longed to speak her minds in a way that speaking could never achieve,

why she signed up for choir, though her voice would always break

her mother was a poet, instilled in her a love for words

and she’d pour over the letters and trace them with her finger

though she didn’t know what they meant

the language barrier played with her ambition, but the words called to her all the same

and one day she picked up a pen and paper and

began to write her name as she also

began the difficult path of writing


the pain, she said, that writing gives me

makes me lie in bed

million thoughts in my head

as I cry, or smile, doesn’t matter I just lay there a while

and think about the words I said and spilled on the page

barring my soul to the unknown crowd of achievers and cheaters and all in-between

but it’s better than the silence of casting it aside, making me so sick I just lay down and my soul dies as

I can’t even find the energy to cry, or smile, or think about the world

I am selfish, insecure, and alone.

the art of letting yourself go- a sequel

the art of procrastinating is also one I have mastered

in fact, you’ll never meet someone who can procrastinate faster

or harder, or better, or quicker than me

I have to be the best at everything I do, see you haven’t done work in days well

me in months and you haven’t been sleeping well lately well I can’t remember the last day that I did

be good at doing what you are or don’t do it all that’s what I tell myself as 3 am flashes on my clock because my

phone is on military time and it’s easier to just glance over then to

add and subtract and do math outside of school.

the art of letting yourself go

letting yourself go

is an art I have mastered

you stay in bed in the mornings with no will to get up or to

drink the dregs that remain in your cup and

every morning and night you wear the same thing as

you listen to the beautiful people sing

so clear, so pretty, they smile and you melt

as your souls berates itself for not being better than that because even though you’ve let go

you can’t ever forgive yourself for it so it’s a struggle

of messy rooms and

messy lives and

chaos all around you as

they all talk

and you listen


and you listen

but it’s all meaningless in the end

you’re helping others when you should look inside your own head

what do you really know?

there was a point where I was so good at lying, so good at crying and pleading my case and my

parents didn’t know but I was kinda a disgrace as I moaned and groaned about the headaches I had because my friends at school wouldn’t

pay attention otherwise and I wanted the attention that I couldn’t find anywhere else

so I changed the way I talked

and I changed the way I dressed and each day I

was less and less and less to the point I didn’t even know what I would do

it sounds very sad and guess what, it’s true or

is it just what I choose to tell you?

my true happiness

it’s funny how you can go from

nothing to ten in one day as you scribble the thoughts you don’t think you can say because the keyboard feels like it’s your real home and you wish you could just sink

into the words that your fingertips now roam and

the touch of your screen calms you more than chamomile on a cold crushing day and

alliteration is the equivalent of brightening up the way as imagery floods your view and

you’re not quite sure where you are even though you haven’t moved any other muscle in an hour of just constant writing, broken only by the occasional getting up but then the

words overtake you again and you’re forced to sit back down, a slave to the very thing that makes you truly happy.

sweet chocolate

she looked into the mirror

confused by what she saw

the darkness in her eyes

that made her look so raw

had left beside a sweet chocolate

nothing there to fear and she

stood there for a moment unsure what to think

scared to even blink as she remembered the days

she’d argue with her mom about the color that she saw and

she’d say they were black and her mother would saw naw and they’d go back and forth for hours staring into both her eyes that were

filling up with tears because

she just wanted to be different.


now that the whining was over

the true writing could begin

and she thought back to the time that’d she’d

first learned how to swim now

her friends said that it was hard but as they

dunked themselves into the pool she’d never felt more at home and she’d

beg to go to the ocean so she could say hello to what she loved and

nothing on earth could compare to when the sea gave her a hug as she ruled from her fathers shoulders, walking deeper into the waters.

the place she never wanted to leave but of course

plans change and things change and she found herself stranded

having to be content with tiny beaches where she’d look

wistfully at the horizon and her family would scoff and

call her a drama queen and

give the teenager her space but if they knew that every time she

looked out across the water at the sunset

she was so happy that she was sad

perhaps they’d just leave her alone and let her cry for reasons that she

didn’t quite know why

but the beach was the place that she learned to be happy as she

watched her brothers and their squeaky voices get scared of the waves and her

mother from the towel would laugh and tell stories and she’d

make sand castles with her dad who was smiling and now

life had come for them and was trying it’s hardest to

destroy her fondest memories with pain but she’d

never let it have the memories of the same thing that she’d let go by herself

a long time ago

to keep it safe

to keep it safe from the world and perhaps most importantly

safe from herself.

i guess

her secret ambition

that she’d never bared to a soul

could be summed up in one word: ballet.

almost more than she wanted to sing, though you couldn’t really compare the types of dream, she wanted to be a ballerina

of course when after so many years and she

still couldn’t do the splits or learn

how to move her hips she

gave up and

devoted her life to the sedentary pursuit of writing but

every so often when

she hears a piece from the nutcracker

her eyes go somewhere far away and she rises onto her toes and the one pose she remembers from her teacher Celeste

and she’d dream of the white tutus and the girls on the stage who’d fly about like they had wings while she

found ways to trip over the smallest of things

because I guess in life you want what you can’t have

even if at the moment you’re perfectly glad there’s still something

that you wish was different and it’s

sad but that’s human nature I guess.

moontime madness

quiet moontime madness

stealing sleep since o1

you left me silent in the sadness

my thoughts have nowhere left to run

but the gentle embrace of the light

it’s fragile, half-hearted smile

the darkness gives me a fright

but light tucks me away in a file

out of mind, out of sight

backwards sings the opposition

as I sit back in my chair

waiting to hear it’s proposition.

standing sideways

You saw me standing sideways

But wouldn’t help me up

Instead told me pretty stories

That didn’t help my luck

Sung me little lullabies

About what life was like up there

And when I wanted you to stop

Still you wouldn’t share

You stayed until you left

Got bored and said goodbye

You left and packed your bags

Hoping behind you I would cry

I just looked straight ahead

My own unique view on things

And finally decided

Not everything dialed should ring

You saw me standing sideways

But wouldn’t help me up

Instead used my own bad fortune

To further your good luck

And now you’re basking in betrayal

Behind the secrets you snuck

As I sit there in the sadness

Knowing I’ll never be enough

I’m no longer standing sideways

I can now breathe in the fresh air

And even though I feel so happy

Still you call from down there

There’s always something better

Something greater to achieve

So instead of standing sideways

Learn how to take a seat.


she told me about her nightmares, and daydreams, things that made her scared to close her eyes, made her want to weep.

but oh my child, what’s it like to still be able to sleep?

what’s it like to close your eyes and know you’ll wake up to the light and not

to just another fright in which you can move but you don’t because

the world around you is dark so you

hide your fingers

hide your toes

hide your face

protect your nose from

the lack of light that’s watching you

from all the way across the room and you

know its not real still you can’t help but feel that

you’ll never make it to tomorrow.

there’s pain to be had

there are a million galaxies

tucked away in the skies

and as i sit here and write

i find i can’t describe

or find the words to do them justice

their face is etched into my brain

dear lord i can’t contain the pain

of being so close

yet feeling so far

the world plays with our feelings

like a guitar

humming and singing and plucking the string

letting themselves let their lies in

as i wait at the gate of the life i want to have

but still for some reason

first there’s pain to be had.

all that’s left

why are you silent when all is well

because you see, I’m afraid to be happy

and it’s not for reasons that seem so snappy it’s just

whenever you’re sad, people give you hugs

and when they’re hugging you, you can just feel the pity


and bruising you, but not on the skin where they can see no,

bruises deep inside of me

and then the hug’s over and some of them stay

but most of the time they just walk away and I’m left there all alone because now they’ve done their part and

all that’s left is for me to be happy

and I try and I smile and they say is that better and I go yeah, thank you, and it makes them happy to know that they made me happy and I’ve helped their day along

a moment of positivity in a world that’s so negative

but the truth is, if I told them what I was still feeling they’d internally die and feel inadequate and not enough

and then my sadness has spread to someone else

and all that’s left is for us to be happy

Then sometimes, when you confide in someone who you think is so strong, they look you in the eyes and say, “me too.”

and for a second you sit there, sharing your sadness because all along you’ve known it’s been true

and all that’s left is for you to be happy.

I can’t even cry

I can’t even cry

As I hear you weep

Buried under all

The secrets you keep

The voice in your head

That says you should be dead

Spilling out of you

At every seam

And as I put my arm around you

I hear its presumed peace persuade

Working in your brain saying

“All you do in life is fade

Fade away from crowds, away from sounds

Fade away from silence

As they’re buying out your violence

Humans were never made to be happy

So just give up now, please make it snappy as I

Burden your brain with images of pain that protrude out of modern society”

As it turns you into a proprietary

Owned by the choice

Death for a voice

As you sulk there in the sadness

That follows up the madness

That makes the rhyme rejoice.

If (The Refugee)

A poem I wrote after seeing so many news stories of people uprooted from their homes.

If (The Refugee)

If I stay home
I will starve
If I remain where I grew up
I will be poor
If I linger where my roots are
violence will take me
If I refuse to leave
I will be forced to do
dreadful things
If I knock on your door
It’s not because I want to
It’s because
I want to live

Snow White’s Sonnet

I'm not inclined to do your work today
 would rather sip some wine and plan how I
 could go outside, trick dwarfs and steal away
 not toil and wash and clean and sing on high

 but walk through woods alone amazed by bloom
 would dance to tunes so sweet and talk to birds
 on how the world with all its doom and gloom
 still shines so bright in shades beyond my words
Not eat the apple Eve once dared to take
 not lay in wait for prince to kiss and wed
 but run and jump for joy that I could make
 my way in thunder, hail and snow, not dead
but fierce and strong, stomp forth in boots
 without a thought or care for knight or chutes.


Area 51

He knew how to love but not how be loved or how to draw it down into his toes, down the bottom of his stomach or how to suck into the back of his mind or have his bones or brains drink it.

An accident, he’d been, that’s what his mother had said, over and over, whenever he was bold or brazen, like that time when he gulped a sup of his father’s gin, aged 7, fell over and vomited on her shoes.

You are disgusting, go to your room, wait till your father comes home, he’ll put some manners on you and whip you into shape, this evening when he comes home, you won’t get away with it, she screamed in his ear.

Deaf it was, from all the yelling, but the words cut through anyhow, and he forgot what love felt like. On his knees, he’d plead with God to teach him again and he learned how to love but not how to be loved.

He became a loving husband and doting father, tender-handed, rock-solid, he’d painted over his cracks, ignored his fractures, capitulated to the enduring frost inside, the exclusion zone no one could enter

not even his devoted wife or gorgeous kids who’d tried so hard to make him see, to make him feel, to make him grasp just how much but couldn’t melt the ice inside, enter the exclusion zone, penetrate area 51.

To his dying days, he was a shouldn’t have been, an accident, a mistake, knew how to love but not how to be loved, his roots extending way down into area 51 imprisoned there by his mother who hadn’t wanted him.

No one ever taught him how to want himself, how to eat or drink love. Make sure you learn how to let salty tears melt the ice inside, break into area 51 and how to eat bread and drink water.


Months of flying gave way to claws thawing
a greening branch, pushing leaves. We were
trailing the sun’s arms, her fingers pointing to
tepid soil, the earth laboring lightly,
and all we had to do is fall into the rays
for a long pause until the twigs came
to meet us. When deep within the trunk
still, they were already choosing
a velvet robe. They knew we’d be featherlight,
draped in plums and downs, our bodies
more weightless than the winds we’d sailed.
We were arctic tern, godwits
bar-tailed and not,
we were cranes and Candian geese,
we were curlews turning up
on featureless, tidal mudflats. We’ve ebbed
the breadth between the mud and the moon,
and now our beaks kiss crustaceans one day
and worms the next
until the sun’s limbs bare flyways,
and we’re bound over.