Cadences and Regret

I cut my hair in front of the window,
you asked if I needed a mirror.

While rust coated the floor,
you packed your suitcase.

Gotta get closer to Canada before your heart explodes,
(be from fragrant miles)
Gotta get lost on purpose once or twice.
(stop, I'm already sold)

While you're gone, we'll learn to land on our asses instead of our feet_
and we can be okay with it.

We can melt in with precision, because everything means nothing,
and you can hold on to a newspaper with one hand or two.

Grey / Gray

Lay in the handle of calling walls,
then sink beneath their quipping.
You're living in a rusty body,
surrounded by a steal-heart, painted green.

There's just something about this knows us.
There's something about cinder blocks on a rooftop,
and smelling the start of Autumn with you.
No matter how far away we go, we're called back.

We walk for no reason now (not like before).
I'm short, you're tall...neither of us look our age.
We both have four names,
but we kiss like we share just one.

"It's staying rusty for a reason, Jan
and the heart...
it was painted green on purpose."
"Everything is grey without you."

Pulled the rug right from under me;
in your classic fashion, made me feel so guilty.

Not everything carries over from year to year.
Sometimes even old feelings will melt with the snow.

Didn't you know, that gray can be beautiful?
...and people pass on the right to prove a point.

then (again)

when we were bending back the cast
when we were stood still for once
(keep together the plains)

sang softly into a colder throat,
gorgeous hands, pulled and dragging.
(I needed no other reimbursement)

I should've said "I love you, too." though.
too, to those brand new lungs of yours,
(two lungs, so very overcome)

the wind hit heavy right then,
when your suppose entered in.
(I heard you clearly, if only in that moment)

later it was christmas,
you asked me to meet you there.
(here was never good enough)

so curious about the directions that my skin had taken,
and about who might be beneath me, while I balanced on your spite.
(nothing new)

who you jealous of, love?
a gaddam ghost?
('o stable rock is shifting)

and as function came to taste a bit,
the demons twisted your teeth toward me.
(you’d be a great actor, if only your rage weren't so real)

"We're each other again, the mirror always finds us.
...even when we can't."
(clocks keep getting closer)

our circle rests apart,
as we've somehow found a new way to fear.
(almost time to hear the jar again)

the tangles of red are all smoothed out now,
and I'm sorry that we don't speak.
(but I still check the cities)

I guess it'll always be too hard to find faults in our bearers,
so we'll just keep blaming each other.
(keep calling though, maybe one day I'll answer)


My face into your palms to brighten the light.
One last kiss because we were both right there dying.

"Gaddam you, December."
"Gaddam you, Jan."

How dare I be your reminder?
Calendar or not, I'll be there anyway.

So sick the city,
when our secrets don't die with the dead.

Still consumed with our abandonment.
(edges always ready)

Withering, wasting down to eleven stone.
You just can't get it together.

but you got your white picket fence now,
and the Second World War.

"I just can't watch you fade away this time, Jan."

It's okay, you blow around like dust now anyway.
And eventually I'll learn not to need you.


to pull down the typewriter onto your belly
to pry with your words, always to pry

to crawl back a decade, or two
back to dirty fingernails snagging into everything

couldn't keep it straight in the waves
couldn't stop the crying

(here comma here)
I'll leave the typos up forever

we'll show time that we're in charge now...
and we'll build a home of love through air conditioning

together, we can try to untie the lies built by this machine
together, we can write until the words no longer overwhelm us


we're writing on a rooftop,
watching the sky blush into night.
eyes, still worshiping a broken history

your thoughts are making you shy again_
shy, like when I was all you knew
shy, like the world wasn't hanging on your every word.

typing on receipts because you were out of paper,
trying to somehow heal those market scars.
all that milk, and misery

move about the letters that you carved into the stairs_
(arrow to the bell)
"Gaddam, we really never got the chance to be strangers."

beautiful ideas of littering

He told me to
"Make a paper airplane, throw it out your window."
"Make another one."


shape the paper up
you're high as shit again
your jabbering
hauled all my anger in

"We both know the night is ours, dissecting all this dark."
(no matter now)

burn down the poplars
as I disappoint you again
they'll remember my mouth for you
and keep the lies up

conscious are the confines that we lay
and I know what you meant about Shane

"Come kiss me now,
we can fight in the morning."

while harboring your fears for twenty years
it's still not enough
(torch the walls)

all along the flames,
and the dispit plaster in bits
knees knocking together,
your heart is pressed into the ground again

"I can’t think of a worse time to tell you."
(the moon comes in to warn us)

we talk of refusal, of punishment,
internal resistance, insisting we can...we will
lick the swift,
and the curves of your breath will become distilled

leaving the print of this winter behind
and that of our stolen youth
of finally deciding it
of learn, of learn it, always

"Give it one more chance to stand upright again."
"Jan Marie, you know it will."

(get your foot off my neck)


Sitting by the fire, feeling the past break wide open
Falling back into love with that unattainable face
Tonight, I'm gonna pretend that I don't know of the ways behind it.

and I can write about quarries and distinction when I get home,
and how you'll be the death of me eventually.
(an ocean twice between us)

"Darlin', you can't fear what you already know."
(let's go free all the animals)

So fragile a tone, you'll never even hear it.
I'll place the letters lightly on the jagged mouth of our shared beast,
and we'll classify the sounds of a thousand empty miles. Peach.

"Eecher peach."
(learn to be still)

Screaming for the hills again.
Don't worry, it'll be over soon,
but I wonder how many hours will pass before we miss it.

Just add it to our turmoil, where all of our faces were born.
Just add it to our lift, where we'll stay in perfect love forever.
Inside it, we can pretend away your sadness, your violence.

I'll wait for the end again, I'm sure of that
but for now, I'm gonna let this good be enough.
You're finally gonna give me back my October...I can just feel it.


Tallow in, when the pleading begins.
"Why can't you just be kind to me?"

"Everywhere I go, I still lug you around."
(as we tend to fall hard here before we summer)

You told me that you feel like an afterthought,
that we need to trim this water before it kills us.

"I'm not quite done waiting for you."
(my judgement starts to cloud)

Then in a sunset from yesterday,
I remembered it all.

I remembered agreeing with the leaves as they lept,
and walking nowhere just to get to you.

I daydreamed of forehead kisses again
(except no one gets hurt this time)

but then I remembered
how you fucked right off, and went to Texas.

How you left me behind to struggle with the frameworks alone,
left me behind to break in the bulbs, one at a time, without you.

With a kick, and a snare, our love was never safe.
"Stay where you are, as I'm given in."


who can think of words anymore
when the loyalty expires
we can change entire worlds into our own

and it was a lie to imply that you’re new to it,
(always the hunter)
sky ending, and best be to the joyless

carefully doing dangerous things
too tepid to tell us no
suspended ourselves in forgetting again

just tell me which ones are mine

funneling through to you
(two over bell)
blood, sinks through the cloth

oh, the intentions of this September
our eyes again
desperate, to see what we can make of the falls

Rev believes,
he scooped that need
and I guess we’ll see what December brings 

One Pin Holds Together the World

you only call me to cry now.
hold gentle, your hands.

tell me how the fields look.
amplify the place that we'll never share again.

remember on my birthday, when you said I was dead to you?
I believed you, because you weren't even angry anymore.

you don't know this, but the very next day, he turned into a ghost again.
and this time, I don't know who to forgive first.

so I rest
right here
in the middle of it all
at the end of it all

and I suppose it doesn't matter now
new tears will feel the same as the old ones used to.

you'll just keep replanting the land that we fucked up on.
gripping tight at all that dirt.

oh, my extra love.

like you said, I chose him over you,
wasn't that always the problem?

you propped me back up onto my feet,
after each baseball bat tap to the knees.

not one more apology though.
not ever again.

I know I shouldn't say this,
but I'd still choose him.

So Few

You muttered the words that I knew you'd forget by morning,
"Sleep now, because tomorrow is ours."
It was good to know what I was never really up against...
but, it made me think of the last time you had to leave.

I reached for the folded cities in your pocket_
opened up the promise of new things,
of real things,
of real places, and times written in a peaceful ink.

You wandered down the hallway,
singing "lhnp"_
reminding me how we were always us,
even before we knew it.

Tiny conversation over coffee and tea,
then a bigger one on our walk to the river.
Your eyes only look like that by the water_
green somehow, and see-through.

That thick water that never lets us down,
lets us change what we need to.
Lets us heal the bones inside, and reposition the veins,
then leads us back to safety.

"All the blue minerals are disappearing, Jan...
blue minerals that can be ours."
"We can adopt them all and 
no one will ever know them like we will."

A walk back home, 
holding hands like we did when we were children.
I think of all these years,
how you love so desperately_

and how touching a piano,
(one key spawned all of this).
and how you still sing for the ones who always loved you,
even when you were a fuckup.

Plein Air

"And with this, I'll destroy all of our troubled stories."
(shovel to the soot)
I wish I could've met you now instead.
(no poison of the pines)

Copper landlines forever tethering. 
and you, holding out for January for the rest of your life.
Balancing calla lilies and nasturtiums to force it all away.
(no more wounds in the sky)

Still stabbing in shields,
when the ice takes him over.
You can learn a lot about a man,
who is confident in crowds and insecure in secrecy.

It's nice now, to be in the pretend not blue with you.
I’ve decided though, I’m going to fall in love with you, again and just not tell you.


When I'm gone and dead, when the white melts into red--
You'll be thinking of tonight, of what just happened.
"I think I feel too hard, 
but all you really need is for one person to get it."

Today I took a nap in a field, 
feeling the cold air of my old home.
My body calmly hustled into the dirt, 
muscles trying not to hear the impact of someone else's soil.

This city has edges, as I wait to fall in.
With your name on all my tongues, I cave.
I give. 
How safe and confusing it can feel to give up your secrets.

It's the urge of the universe...
of a decade of wait, turning faster into a lifetime of regret.
And when we don't talk, I'm someone else.
Maybe someday I'll tell you that.

Standing alone on a rooftop with too many people.
Cigarettes are all around me.
I'm touching my own skin, to remember a memory that hasn't happened yet.
Wanting to kiss your mouth so the years between us can evaporate.

This is where I always fit, but somehow it feels wrong tonight...
because I want you here with me.


The whispering is gone now,
but we're still tenants of the water.

"There'll always be books stacked up on my stairs...
you'll just have to accept it."
(and burn marks on your jeans)

Cold hands and pink cheeks.
Weak lips pretending again.
Being brave together, always being brave.

"She's still in'll just have to accept it."
(and burn marks on my genes).

The gall of your breath to create this.
Reminding me of all the copper that pumps through my veins.
Cant you just let me try to forget?

Sometimes the shadows play a bigger part, than the faces in front of you.
So you go.
No matter how good it gets, you just have to drive north.

You have to stand in the parking lot of an IGA to feel whole again.
To feel poor,
to feel alone.

It's the only way to silence the wishes.
It's the only way to forget that the past is over.

Wet feet, with crying eyes.
We drive.

Drive, to remember who we used to be.
Drive, to where no one recognizes you, except me.

Six Years Behind

I pulled at an eager thread_
One week of total bravery.
Unraveled in front of someone, instead of alone.
I called, and he got on a plane.

In an instant,
everything that I thought meant the most, just went away.
He held me, said all the right things_
he always does.

He's not crazy, not even a little_
but he never seems to mind that I am.
He's kind and he knows exactly what he wants
(if we all could be so lucky)

We sang in the dark.
We laughed, we reminisced.
We kissed, sitting in our matching sweatshirts.
His hands on my face let me forget you for a while.

I shouldn't have called him,
he loves me like I love you.


Watching from behind the curtain,
you let me be invisible.

I thought about our days by the water...
how the sun felt on my face,
your feather-light kisses,
and the agony of knowing that it would be over in hours.

All these new words you've purged, 
they let me sink deeper into regret.
They let me think of the possibilities,
and the thin, beautiful air that complicates our lives.

Words that make me want to tattoo an anchor onto my foot,
and draw butterflies in all your books.


Just keep erasing, keep rearranging thrown punches.
Wait months and months, only to yell again.
Mr. Cover up that gangly face at any cost.
Mr. Demand it, my atlas asleep, my atlas lost.

Go on. Keep keeping the birch trees in your pockets, until I forgive you again.

Keep making it the middle man.
Your torturous ways of getting the messages to me.
Not everyone gets a soundtrack to their past,
and I hate that I keep listening.

"One small change, Jan."

It's hard to separate the artist from the art,
when we both know it's stolen.
We both know the roots,
and that the next correction was always coming.

"Gaddam it, Jan, it has to rhyme."

Singing my lines now, but in a taller form.
Slouching more than I would ever,
trying hard because you're just so clever.
Go leor.

"Jan, one more quick note."


I watched you standing with your head down.
You looked angry and ashamed.
Trapped like a gorilla, then you saw me.
You lit up like you always do.

Turned a concrete face into something incredible.
(easy smiles with a gambling problem)
Looking more and more like your father everyday,
but acting like my mother.

Get your ears pinned back, and your teeth fixed up, then
...then things will work out.
Then the pain that you caused tonight will be worth it.
"Just hold out, in ten years you'll see..."

I can't keep bailing you out.

You said that you were surprised by the knife in your back,
but you weren' couldn't have been.
You knew all along that she'd eat you alive, 
but you knew I'd catch you when you fell.

All these years of trying to convince me, 
or maybe yourself_
that one of these times it will work.
It has to.

"I have these scary dreams...about being under water."
"Can you just sit here with me tonight, and pretend?"
"I need you."

I'm not the solution to your problems.
I'm just another one before it happens.


Smell this one
What does this one smell like?
Describe it in a color

Sparkling pieces of hard fruit
lined up like meteorites
waiting for their turn to land

your fingers long,
your mouth chewing
as you say

"We're both writers, but the difference between us is
that you really are a writer
and I just steal ideas from a talking sky."

I Would Still Do

Friendship determined by birth order,
ferromagnetic material deciding the outcome.

We married as children in his dad's dirty shed.
He will always be my only husband.
He's a man full of vehicular offenses now...
full of digging the dirt before the bodies are even dead.

An affinity for circles and gravel,
and keeper of the fountain that will store our secrets forever.

It doesn't happen constantly now...or even often anymore,
but he can go back there.
He's safe where he can read into things like he likes to.
He still thinks that the past is the answer.

...and when the spokes stick out, and the rungs are all broken,
his retention can still encourage him.

to draw a home in the fog instead of the heart
to rest, to recharge
to revive, to relive
to remember that day over and over again

As the lines formed in my head,
he whispered, "The rebel never sleeps."

The letters printing slowly up the length of my arm,
staining the hair follicles to keep his promises...
to preserve us, to protect us_
to no matter what - keep us together in his memory.

"This one will be permanent, and your mother wont be alive forever.
Don't let her die before you tell her that her pain isn't yours anymore."


we talked for hours tonight
(like old times)
brains but idle, guts in knots
the sadness of time passing in front of us

fuck if I don't still feel it

can we ever go back?
back to before the collapsing happened?
back to when you used to write small for me?
arbre à vagues

your brother told me to tread lightly
(he always gives the best advice)
even so, 
I worry about impossible things

Pay Dirt

and we definitely said to, I just hate it
but we can't keep encouraging the storm
so now we've got this ocean between us
to keep us safe from each other

I wrote a bunch of mean shit today
I won't send it because I know you'll read it
something about arson,
and how skinny you've become

you called, just to work forgiveness in again
screamed to the sea how very lonely you were
you weren't alone....even though I didn't answer,
you are never alone

you said: "I don't think you could ever get this low."
you said: "What if we really do crash and burn this time?"
(and I suppose we did)

I've gotta stop reading the obituaries...


tiny feet sat beneath, but still above the breach,
we woke up to branches.

“We stopped talking, so what. I still knew who we are.”

a trick to seem so accidental, 
a plan to crumple your ideas deep into my chest, again.

"I'd like to commission a pink."

to try to sink in some more things that we'll eventually abandon,
to force it back to when we still shared our Autumns.

"At night I still sit with you, and you don’t even know it."

And as good times rolled back into your eyes,
I knew I'd never really be rid of you.

"Don't bite the hand that feeds you."


Sit on the cold, wet cement and enjoy the last bits of winter.
You get to spend them with this super hero man.

It's hard to believe that he's real sometimes_
So perfect a creature...loving hearts instead of bodies.

Watch him smoke and say he's sorry for each puff.
Remind him that you've never smoked a cigarette and got cancer anyway.
Listen to him tell you tales from the road.
Listen to him mock his choices, but beam the whole time.

Watch him reach out to help you off the curb.
Watch him smile for eternity,
and never hesitate to love you.
Watch him know exactly what it means to be alive.

Remember how his mouth was open when the rain hit his skin_
Eyes closed, mouth so beautifully open.
Remember how it felt as the rain dripped
down from from his face to yours.

Let him in just this once,
for real.
You lucky, ungrateful fool,
let him love you for today.


Ooh that pivot, though
when the goodbye that I gave wasn't enough for you.
"Write less, sing more."

(Eat the citrus, you fucking asshole.)

I can see it, too, your success a sort of muzzle on my snout.
but I know what's happened in my life.
"Don't punish me for all of eternity."

(Finally fixed the typos, mutherfucker.)

Peered back into the window,
to when only we knew what you had done.
"Now we'll have to store our love somewhere else I guess."

(Forever called, it wants all your bullshit back.)

Red Hot Water

As I moved closer, the trees looked like mountains
and everything I hate about myself jumped off to make the climb

Thoughts flowing fast again
I'm seeing color everywhere, and I'm starting to hear the letters

I'm watching orange and yellow, 
smelling smoke and cherries, and it's all your fault

I miss you every day
(every storm inside your body)

and if you have to force yourself to forget someone,
you probably shouldn't

Meets December

He told me I was glowing...he asked why.

I said,
"I think I've met someone who makes more sense than anything else has."

He smirked, and said,
"Well, be'll be easy to fall in love with someone who has a shelf life."

He says cruel things to me.

He knows that he can stop it with the revenge but he wont,
he's out for blood this time.

"I don't need you to send pictures to me, Jan.
I know what your fucking face looks like."

and I know what it's like to wait for the scars to form

Asking clay to cast without duty;
tearing tooth away from gum,
and promising each other lies for too many years_

"It's like trying to store water in cardboard boxes.
We're pretending that it'll always stay clean, and safe in there
but before we know it, it'll be gone...
and all we'll have left will be mold."

Standing on the skyline; a horizon that used to be mine,
I'm loving you from here.
Even if he doesn't believe me...
even if you don't yet.

For the rest of my life, I can remember loving someone for real.

and even if it ends like he says it will;
I can still remember you,
and these nights when everything felt right_
and how I hoped with more hope than I've ever had for him.

I get to know now that I would defend you forever
and that I would care for you without agenda.

I might have to take forever away from him though...
he's getting meaner with every fall.


I loved you, up to my neck...
'till the snap almost happened.
but the limp mind moves on, it has to, to survive.
The pain is too heavy to carry forever.

Spray the skin with glycerin and hope for the best.

I settled for someone else.
...and he says that I'm the last to show affection,
the last to patch the dents.
I wasn't with you.

It's all okay.

Might need to disappear for another year,
to fall in love with yoursle again.

Make the sound of E right tonight.
The whole E.
I might not deserve this, 
but I like knowing that we'll be writing about the same moment.

"...and grab a book, or two before you leave."

He took the time to think it through...
to form those words in his mouth,
to breathe out knowing what they'd do to me.

Believing that even when everything falls apart, 
the silence of us together is enough.

uisce glan

you burned through the photographs in under an hour
and asked such poking questions

I sat with my back toward you
"Take whatever you want, I won't need them..."

we are scenes filled with yellow umbrellas
of fake blood
of life and friendship,
of faster death,
of sunflowers,
of eyes, those eyes
and the masonry,
the ideals,
work, work, work.
(hands on a piano)

"It's never been about connection, Jan, rather the attention."

barged right into my story to destroy it
(just like old times)

struggle causes the words to bleed out,
they start to live, and molt.
unresolved, maybe forever

"We need this pause."
(lift my shrinking fist up into the air)

"He'll never understand this."
(I want to take the armadillos from the drawer,
bury them in the field behind your house,
or just chuck them all at your face.)

I waited six minutes, then I started to glue again.
such romance, binding our lives to the ceiling.

you fell asleep on my bed,
and I went back to pretending that I don't miss you.

you say two-gether

A bruise on the right, a burn on the left.
We've been outside too long, I can feel the cold in my nails.

Life is a series of almost endings_
of balancing perfectly on the edge, above the unlucky.

I wrap leaves around my fingers,
as you talk business on the phone.

The sun isn't warm enough today,
and I'm starting to regret my words.

It's hard to explain my writing to you...
you ask unanswerable questions.

You say:

"A good writer never thinks they're good,
a good writer never stops judging internally.
...and I love that they're always two-lined...
even when I'm away, we're two-gether."

(you, and your twos)

Five days past your birthday, your dead-living birthday,
You'll be in Canada on mine.
Those two-lined paragraphs_
they'll help convince me that I'm not going to drown here.

You're everywhere I've ever been, and never need to go again.
I'm here in your bed while you're in Berlin, then Oslo (not home).
Home, where we trip over cables...
I like them, because when they're here, so are you.

Tater Lake

I sat in my normal chair on a Tuesday at noon
breathing in deeply the heat, on the 15th of June
You were late again.
(you were always late)

...and while I waited, I thought about that summer.

Sun shining down onto Chetek
Our bodies so young then
Singing together all afternoon
tiny voice cracking to beat hell

...and you were just about to leave that boy behind.

Thinking tonight about the things you did,
the things that no one else got to see.
How you kept your pills in an envelope...
I wonder if you still do.

...and that kind of makes you my C.T. (except far less holy).

I keep trying to deny the north,
pretending my words aren't about you anymore
It's all a lie.
I'm just gonna let you haunt me forever.

...and my secret will stay safe with me.

Now that your face is everywhere
(your new union)
It's ruining me.
Can I send you the armadillos, before I rip thier fucking heads off?

Rhymes Again

I can see you anytime I want to now
but we're still waiting
soon enough though, you'll watch me sink back into your fire...
you'll watch me over-cook, and pull me out just before I'm gone again.

and you'll talk more about how he lived,
about how he died in uncertainty.
convinced that is your doom, dying without any notice.
(I will notice)

So stray, for now, go ahead.
Stay muted while you preen.
Hire the strong to speak for your lost causes,
Laugh hard while you make your green.

I'll just keep handing my words over to you.
He, who now makes snow globes.
Wanna write it down fast?
Make sure it's all there?

"Don't worry, you can count it later."

I trust you less than I trusted my mother.
and someday I'll find out what really happened on the day her head exploded.
(I hate that she did that to me, to us.)
Someday I'm sure I'll find out why yours did, too.

Today was your birthday,
but I spent it alone.
My recurring gift to you,
always being your disaster.

As to mourn is for the foolish

he thought I was brave to write about what others fear
brave to write with crippled hands

horn pushed into my jaw, to gouge out the arrogance
his eyes dangerous, and wet

belief can be the end of you, and all the things you love
the wood, the snow, the mouse that crawled to the chute

the mouse that made it to the hearth, only to die
mourn no more, as to mourn is for the foolish


In hearing you speak to strangers,
I felt like I used to love you somehow (even though I still do).
I listened to you tell them about our lives,
and watched you share your pain with poise.

A poem that you wrote when you were 15,
turned into a song when you were 20,
and into a knife tonight.

You told them our secrets...
and it's hard to redirect rain.

You cant go back,
because now they know that your liver doesn't travel well,
and they know about the money that you stole from my father.

They know now, that our tragedy was dense,
and that before it tore us apart,
it forced us together...
Two scared kids hiding in a closet.

They know now about the night your heart caved in,
and that when it was over, 
there were pieces scattered on the floor_
plastic, whetted, and clean enough to cut through me. 

They know now about your round cheeks, laughing crazy
as your eyes cried into my lap
...but you didn't tell them that in that moment,
your words grew teeth, sharp like daggers.

In your breakdown, you left out some things.

You didn't tell them how your eyes looked 
when you kissed my shoulder in the lake.
...and you forgot to mention
that I can still recite what you said to me when I was 24.

You didn't tell them that soon you'll marry her,
and that when you do, 
that painful night wont hurt you anymore
because it'll be too busy hurting me.

the accident

A broken mass of shoulder bone,
and the reflection of a church in his uneven eyes.
A giant smile, just like my mother's,
with arms that were stronger than they looked,
and hands that were long, and forgiving.

When the pain reclines, and the hair becomes thinner,
he will still be perfect to look at.
Giant, and frail, and so happy that we made it.
Lips talking about Jesus,
like we were ever believers...

Gritting his teeth, as he chewed the meat...
the meat that slipped past his tongue with so much guilt.
"I'll only be loud for a moment, Jan."
ne impervious make a scene,
and then I'll walk away."

He told me about the buildings across the street
(a conversation that only sparked denial).
Circle sponges covered my eyes_
pressed in hard, leveling me...
turning me into mist.

Hands holding tight through the clay that kept us together.
Remembering the sounds of brittle waterfalls, drying up.
Sparing liberty, and sparring with it.
Trying to change the direction that he chose for us.
Reluctant feet, drawing deep into the metal.

- he's driving the wrong way -

Our molecules skidding along the slippery ledge_
the edge of the land that felt thin like tissue paper.
Shifting down to meet the operators below,
He screamed, "No!"
Then a softer, "Fuck."

- almost buried me before I was dead again -

Lined up straight with the hole that he'll try to fill for the rest of his life,
the hole that he tried to fill before it even existed.

"What could I possibly teach you?"

"What don't you already know?"

Who the hell uses a word like 'impervious' anyway?
Only him.


somehow you manage to feel alone in front of the world

hitting the wall, over and over, with open eyes
and getting up each time, instead of curling in

remembering the flowers that lined our little tunnel
then again, 
after it burned to the ground

you hooked the light 
and that was it
we finally got to love each other at the same time

that was then 
and I don’t know you now
and disgust is setting in

it’s time to stop remembering
and it’s time to stop keeping an empty notebook in every room for you
it’s time for three lines, now

Porcelain Life

I heard 'Lilac Wine' playing when you called.
Made me think of that walk to the polls.
Hearing the harmonies in our heads,
feeling the season change early, 
and fighting the fight the whole way home.

How could we know the destiny that was next to me?

Time lapse, and a decade is born.
You're a man now, but belong to someone else - everyone else.

And today the city exploded.
There's water where the sand should to be.

Took it as an opportunity, shot your shot to get to me.

"Try the ways of the world, Jan Marie."
"Just let me in."

You've almost convinced me.

Tell me again, what fruit could calculate?
What fragrance could divide?

There isn't a sound that you cant hear, I promise.
You don't need me to introduce you.
I'm sorry that I hurt you back then,
that I keep hurting you...
but, I promise, you will make it on your own.

Maroon Counties

Focusing on the tiny cracks where the light came in,
where the smoke blew out.
Thinking about everything we've said,
and everything we haven't. reaching for my hand somehow changed things

I want to have that dream again...
right now.
I want to have it in the past,
before we were even born.

Trap you in a mason jar in 1955.

I was gluing down paper (gotta keep busy until you die)
I kept at it until the morning
Making myself do this, instead of that.
cut, and paste paper until you feel clean

and I realized I'd been clenching my jaw all night.

I thought about telling you...
that my body cant eat anymore, that I'm sicker everyday
that my blood is turning on me
that soon the poison will run out, and I'll be left to fight it alone.

I'm still wishing for another fall though..please, just one more.


and now the store is second hand
and the streets seem less empty
the cold though, that's the same
and your hands are the same

standing in the rain, you looked behind me at nothing
maybe trying to see six years ago
(no sorries now
and none of that calm yelling)

my hands on your chest feeling a new heartbeat
counting the thumps with the wind kicking in
You picked up a wet leaf and put it in my pocket
"You'll want to touch this later...when it's dry."

a dusty leaf will console us when I'm finally dead
isn't that why we both write?
wanting to leave something behind
so we might somehow always matter...

Like then, there

that date you had with a short story...

I want to see moments like that
and say nothing
just write about your face

as you sit there fingering the words
as you let them warp you,
let them turn you into a capsule

you are more beautiful than she lets you be
I wonder how her eyes look when she sees you
I wonder if she sees you at all

you are blasting fucking neon to me


You asked me to meet you, and I did
I sat down with no greeting, you just started to rattle

thumb against cup
knee against table
words against wall

Blathering on about Willie Nelson,
and Tibet
and how you've got all the answers

Somehow in your 20-some years
have become all-knowing
and we are
cha cha
the fools
who know nothing.

I didn't speak...


Breathing hard, blowing smoke in my face you asked me endless questions
You answered them all yourself.

You only stopped to hear what song was on...

I know why you stopped,
I know why you stopped.


Shoulder kisses, and wishing on bones_
It's hard to breathe when nothing seems as pretty as the past.

In one place, at one time.
and I wont forget you; not now, not ever.

the way the curtain clung to your arm,
how the shifting happened without us noticing
the otherness, and the failings
the long lines, and short sights
and the pain that I just couldn't help you out of.

You brought the leaves inside and put them on the table.
Looking for just the right one
Eyes doubling in size,
you quickly forgot all the things that you'd learned.

Late at night when we weren't trying to sleep...
hearing those soft taps against the wood
hoping not to anger the neighbors with all your lawless art.

"...but when will the cutting come from underneath?
when will the scratches stop?"


Watching you that night;
waiting for you,
it felt indulgent.
...and in the end it was.

I just wanted something to write about.

Just in Time

I used to think in typewriters,
in rickety, old bookcases...

I think now in the smells of your sofa.
soft cloth, worn so thin.
Thin, like the skin on your wrist, ready to burst.
Brought to buckle by corduroy slacks, and pot
and button-down shirts, unbuttoned,
sleeves rolled up to make me follow...

but your socks really stink
and you know I hate the pot.


Carved out soap creatures lined all along the window's ledge_
I did this to you, what he did to me.
I finally get it,
I finally understand why you hated me.

Thinking tonight in gray shadows, in ceiling fans_
in lips kissing the wrong person to fill the void.

...try not to judge me too much,
I just learned that a song that makes me cry, was written about me.

That's a lot to take in_
and it's hard to say "I'm drowning" with a mouth full of water.

Being that in love with someone invisible,
Man alive do I get that.

I fell in love with him, while you fell in love with me.
Pointless, misguided love seems to win every time.

I'm hard on myself tonight,
Thinking about the plastic cage that he keeps himself in,
the kit ajar, the poison permanently in his veins,
the fucking venom prison that holds him back.

I'm doing everything other than what I need to do
Listening to corresponding chords, and bells...
Do I accept?
To settle for a song, when all I want is to hear a crashing garbage can.

Dusting with the Dilettante

That relentless map brought me back to you,
the same one that brought you home
Geography changed your mind,
and helped you cultivate a new man

"Gotta get some dust on ya, to get the rust out."
"Invested in a bundle of feathers little lady,
cuz this might take a lifetime or...

It's nice now, to hear it how it should sound again_
with no strain on the cord, no pain in the teeth
I dragged my feet around to see the color of the floor...
I cut our initials into the dirt, while you worked on one more song

Soon you'll walk me down to see the water that's got your name on it_
a place to maybe drown someday...just like you always wanted
Submerge yourself with the ghosts of all the people who were here before you,
all the people that aren't remembered now

Someday we'll become them,
Someday no one will care about the mistakes of the old you,
or this new broken man that you've become


Feeling the tighter grip of the life ahead,
trying to brace for the impact.
Nothing can really prepare you for your demise though,
for the truth that follows the war.

The fade, you can feel it.
It's okay to dwell in it if you need to.
It's okay to accuse, to disregard_
and the pain, it can live in you longer than you thought.

You learn to accept it, 
you learn to appreciate that no one gets to know this but you.
This break-up of safety,
this expiration date.

He called me callous tonight...
that might be true
I think that's okay, too.


I cant remember your real voice anymore,
and your face is getting harder, and harder to picture.
Our eyes haven't met in forever,
and the scars go without kisses now.

Chunks cut out of the bricks that we used to touch_
they're filled with shine now,
and lots of wishes.
You'd be so surprised by the changes.

I don't need to cut soap anymore,
strands of glue consume me instead.
Neon drops pulled apart like candy,
(you'd just love the green).

I'm waiting for the fall...

for the leaves to blow away from the windows,
for the smell of fire,
for the surgery to stop and the irons to cool,
for the sand to become song-soaked, again.

Your head will lift back up then,
those moving squares will fill you with envy all over.
So what, you needed to be nameless for a while,
you'll see soon enough, that the world never really stopped.

things that were said
(things that should've been said)

you: "Tonight we hang teal, tonight we win it all."
me: (well, you do...)

Laid the paint down, and pulled the trigger.
I never thought I'd long for winter like this...
but now this cold-cast that you made is right here to protect me.

you: "Let the liquid burn all the way through the paper this time, Jan."
me: (it's going to burn your skin off)

The floor still coated in the wax that covered your feet,
and every night, I remember your words until I fall asleep.
Even when you're gone, you manage to pull the sky down around us.

It's either you, or this cancer that will finally break my heart.

you: "Tonight the past is trying not to die, and I cant feel guilty anymore."
me: (you have nothing to feel guilty about)

So I forgive you for ever loving me, for ever believing,
for never following the rules,

and for trusting that the foundation underneath would support us.

you: "...and when the water floods in?"
me: (the mourning will be mine)

I try to remember it how it actually happened, and not how you wanted it to happen.
You have a tendency to remember things more perfectly than they were, and with more adjectives.

you: "Knowing that you know what this city smells like, makes you seem closer."
me: (that's the softest your voice has ever been)

"When the redhead from your past comes back to haunt you..."
Hands covering your eyes, your legs will dissolve, to let you sink to meet her.

right now
you: "Forget what we should do, forget everything, I love you, please come home..."
me: (I love you too, but we're building up to the break.)


You're about to be bigger than you thought.
You said that it would never get to this level,
and at the very least, if it ever did,
you'd remember that you didn't do it alone.

Hand picked, like fruit, to play the anti-hero.
If they only knew how wrong they were.
You're stronger than anyone I know,
You're honest, and unaffected.

Lying there, hair all messy,
lookin' like Tennessee Williams.
Your feet dangle off the bed, and your face, soft,
like that of the child you should've been able to be.

Arm curled under you,
like a baby fox.
Why is it that men look so exquisite while they're sleeping?
You asked again before you fell asleep...

"Are you really still here?"
"This will be it, I know how you work."

Don't be the one to always flash your badge.
Done, be the baby.


This day just keeps on growing, exploding like it knows my secret.
My mind smells of olive oil, and the idea of your tobacco.

I let myself linger longer than I should have,
as that song became my web.

The universe keeps pointing to you with water-like detail,
and maybe you'll reach out for me when that 7th year starts to itch.

We cant ever sit together though,
It'd be all I could do, to not crumble at you feet.

Saying good-bye to you was the hardest thing that I didn't get to do.

roses and v.w.

I woke up at again at 3:30 am.
Even when I think I've got it beat...
Insomnia shows me who's boss.
You're far from here. I haven't seen you in weeks.

I got your stupid flowers.
I got your bullshit card.
I read your gorgeous letters.
(all fucking four)

I was going to wait to get two more--
(you know, you know)
and you wrote "You're so sensitive to cyan."
and you wrote "My eyes only see magenta."

You want to force me to feel something else,
but I assure you,
to pretend this doesn't bother me, is more tricky than you think.
My bones becoming more delicate as I type.

To ask me of my future is just mean.
You made me watch.
I saw you lie on the grandest of stages
to prove what?

I want to start making soap carvings,
to try to forget
That'll teach you...
small replicas of your mistakes.

and you wrote "Everything you see, someone else ignores."
I read it over and over
I cried,
and hoped stupidly for the unknown.

I can stop thinking about it,
any time I want.
Like you,
I will just pretend to be clean.

Maybe I will marry for real on paper,
maybe I will marry for show.
Like you,
I will just pretend to be faithful.

She loves you more than you love her,
what a romantic union you have.
She's holding on so tightly,
because she knows how loose your cannon is.

She wants fame so badly,
your ways are worth it to her
She wants to be in the papers,
not the pages of your books.

You want to be in the papers.
You are everything that you pretend to hate.

Fabric on a Wall

You there, liking that toile...
I think about that the most.
When you were slicing your watermelon all wrong

You said "One day our walls will be covered in toile".
I've always hated toile...even more now.
It's too busy like your mind, (and mine).

and now it tastes just like a nightmare might...
I'm trying to understand your new plans...your new obligation.
I don't know how to handle it yet.

So I went just now,
drove to that spot
did what you said we'd do together.

I took deeper breaths than I wanted to, but I didn't cry at all.
I told the landscape that she was pretty--
because I'd bet it's been a long time since she's heard that.

You promised me, one day to photograph the broken together.
You and I alone with the machines.
Instead, soon, your baby.

To tell the ones we love that we do before they die.

How long will it take for these figures to dissolve?
(they're already melting in my hands)

This is like an unaddressed letter to you.

I haven't slept in days,
and I have a scarf wrapped around my head.

You're spilling out our guts right now...
(but, it's my story to tell, too.)

You still have a weakness for redheads,
and I still have a weakness for bullshit.

All I want to do is get rid of everything you've ever seen,
everything you've ever thought of while you were next to me.

and I started writing about my mother,
did I tell you that
Wishing for a do over...

A do over to ask all kinds of questions...
Did she like coffee?
I have no idea.
What was her favorite song?
Her favorite movie?

Did she ever want more, or less than what she had?
Did she ever sit around her house with a scarf on her head?

We'll end up the same, you and I.

One of us is going to die not really knowing the small stuff that builds us anymore.
We are 100 per cent tortured love.
(all or nothing desperation)

I need a do over. A do over, with you and my dead mother.

Mug Sharing

Left foot on right thigh
Your voice the only sound in an empty room
Singing Sam Cooke to me

We can forgive this place now
Forgive, and forgive, again

Stacks of wood piled high
I'm ready to stay warm with you for a while

to draw maps that aren't inaccurate
to make songs that aren't so sad
to forget the rest of the world, and just stay warm with you

but, for fuck's sake, stop drinking whiskey out of my mug.

 I hear the sounds sneaking up,
and then the rain comes in to blow me away.
The new book is like a bullet.

It's him,
it's always been him.
...and he said,
"copper, not red."
...and he said,
"the jealousy rips into me, as she is living what she lost."

Forced the sinking into the crumpled sheets...
and into his slumber, deep.
I lay awake, and learn by mistake.

If I jump everything changes.

...and I think it was better when you were a ghost.
because now, I hang on every word that you don't say.

The keys can give me a voice,
the strings, always deliberate.
The sounds blend me into fiction and into the ideas of maybe-still.
I remember who you are.

I remember the night I tried to forget you.
Without knowing, he sang your words for me.
It was over too fast, so I asked him to sing, again.
Just a few more minutes to remember you.

Separating the vowels, and dismembering the past.
Tongue licking lips, and a jaw devouring words like magic.

Right then, I caught a glimpse of who I needed to be in his eyes, instead of yours.
Lines like knives into flesh,
like hooks into cotton, and it was too late for us.
He was next, again, and he had no idea.

For a Kiss (a poem from my girlhood)

He had to punch his way through the water to grab onto her.
Torn canvas flapping above.
She was only there in his memory.

This had to have happened before, to someone else.
Someone just had to relate to his last loss.

Him: "He died when he was 20, lost at sea."
Me: "Which sea?"
Him: "Doesn't say...maybe in the Irish?"
Me: "Sad."

Him: "Isn't it weird, we have no idea what he looked like."
Me: "He probably looked like you."
Him: " married when he was sixteen."
Me: "Old enough..."

Generations later, their faces wont ever be known.
Their history just disappeared, like ours will.
Their embellished words are long forgotten.
Words like 'scuppered' and 'chancer'.

Him: "No one remembers them except this church book."
Me: "It's called a ledger."

Found only on these pages now,
their names scrawled in big, curly letters.
'She was the daughter of...'
'He was the son of...'

That is their legacy.
They were born,
they married,
they died.

Me: "I wish we could bring them back to life, and ask them questions."
Him: "You're the strangest kid I've ever known."

I wasn't about to disagree.

E Double L

Him: "Even though I'm here and you're not, I still think about it."
Her: "Think about what?"
Him: "You pushing away possibility..."
Her: "Well this evening is going to end badly."

Today was so perfect, why ruin it?
Looking at the leathery skin of a million
You're why I'm here
You always think it's for the rest of's for you

Coffee-filter bathing suits in a pool of mud
Feeling safe with you, and wanted.
This should be enough.
I've given more to you than any of the others.

Standing on the street, like we're the only two people in New York.
Kissing your lips that are too tall to reach.
You meet me halfway,
and somehow I smell fire.

It might be as wonderful as you think,
but knowing my history, it will be short lived.
and I will leave you alone, hurting,
writing new songs.

...and you're just too beautiful to break that way.


Water rising high, the waves licking at your heels.
Pour quickly, the things that no longer matter.

Ribbons of honey to dismiss.
Over the grate, and under the sky.

The massive climb, that is the drink.
One wrong move and you'll be in it, and under it...gambling on the future.

Accept the childhood that you left,
let the ugly fade away, make them all disappear into your crowd.'s just lovely to be invisible next to you.

four words

twisting finely into a thread_
a silver string of poisonous mercury

it winds around and briefly stops the pumping_
it stuns, but never fastens

"I still love you."

and somehow I cant even remember what the problem was in the first place
how could I ever let you go?

how can four words destroy so much?
trying to escape you and all these florid years

I'm wishing I could take back that phone call
I could hear you smoking, as you cried

I shouldn't have said what I did,
but you broke us

"I want to come undone thinking about this, Jan Marie.
You'll believe what you want to,
but I'll love you forever,

even though you'll keep pretending not to notice."

you're right, such a crafty web I weave
I'll want you forever, but I wont ever let it happen

I'm just so selfish
I don't want to say that I used to love you.

Dwelliver's Travels

Our ears wrap hard around the music now, it's all we have left.
Music, and secret breaths that
never let us completely forget.
Words, and chords that let us pretend for a while,
that we're who we want to be.
Sounds so intrusive,
that no matter where we are,
we need to stop what we're doing, so we can remember.

I try to put myself back there,
that night you sneaked back up on my lips.

I couldn't believe it, I still cant.
The defining moment for my heart happened in front of paint chips,
in front of raindrops in my hair, in front of the clutter of friendship,
and truth that we couldn't deny anymore.
Your hair was long then.

The whole world stops when I think about that night.
Mouth aching for yesterday, aching for anything that makes you mine again.
I take myself back to that staircase,
and back to those eyes that no one has seen like I've seen.

Roch Ness

Jumped in along side you, so dark my eyes couldn't adjust.
You kissed my shoulder and whispered,
"It can be like this forever if you want,
I can fake my own death and live like Elvis."

(save your breath)

Cold, cold water then.

Maybe I was wrong,
maybe I should've stayed.

You wanted to know about him, so I told you.

"You know that kind of love that you see in the movies?
that cosmic, disruptive's like that."
"I'd bet if we could sit alone together, we'd glow."

I cant have him, and you cant have me.
Love is rough.

She wore blue, how dare she do that to you?
She wore blue, and lied in front of the world.

Happy Anniversary.


Sometimes punishment is all we have.
I blame you because it's easier that way.

To kiss a wrist, to bend a heart,
to empty out the dirt.

Go ahead.
Eat now, swallow, and chew because you're entitled.

So soon,
the storm.

The torrent is coming.
It'll sweep you off your feet, and you will disappear.

Give in to the love, and all the swirling hate,
release it, because no one can take the weight of this water forever.


plan B makes
plan A look like a lying drunk.

Nonetheless, sometimes
I miss plan A.

Fragile Night

Lost in ideas, in questions that I've never considered.
The wind is whipping up sounds that seem like raindrops.
My eyes, ink-black, and heavy.

I'm letting gravity win tonight,
and I'm letting your words get to me, like you want me to.
You always have a plan.

Sometimes you ask too much of me,
and I always ask too much of you.
Watch me wait forever.

Grabbing my face with a sentence, or two.
Your vowels twisting into fists.
Implying that you knew all along.

You want to break me.
You want to walk me into water up to my lips,

It would be so easy to take a breath, or one too many.

You don't know me like you think you do,
and I cant do this anymore.

I cant get over what this isn't, what it never was.

Talking, sinking lazy in our metaphors.
It's comfort that you can never compete with.
It's friendship, and loyalty, you are not capable of those.

called me think I'm defective.
The sun is rising again,
and all the art has died.

your torn jeans

Prolific songs says:

"You're full of words all of the should be a writer one day.
and you should never cut that hair off--it just might be your magic."

(profound smiles follow)

Your magic is in those jeans.
The pair that's ripped from the bottom, and sewn back up.
That pair you wore when we met up with your mother.
When we went shopping for a sled,
when you felt so good.

(who the hell buys a toboggan in June?)

Someone with plans for the future.
always planning, always thinking ahead.

To do:

buy socks
don't read mail
don't shower
buy needless toboggan

(a life less melancholy, with more sledding)

I know your running, I know that high.
I know the fear that keeps it pulsing.
Question grips into you, and somehow maintains the sinew--for all it has left.

one .
more .
run .

I will outrun my tumors.
See, see.
Just for you I will shed them all.
Cancer, and otherwise.

This sled will wash the rot out.
It'll bring us together before we die.
This sled can force the love.
Real, not just settling love...

Maybe another run.

I can never be what you need.
I'm never going to expect anything again.
Why do you need me to expect something?
"Expect new things to happen."

What is so wrong with the present?
next level
next level
Maybe you want it so badly because I don't.


and now his pounding, agile heart is broken...because of you.
it was gorgeous gray, and you destroyed it.

as the night continued, his voice got softer, and softer...
(rejection makes words so quiet)

perfection, in a tall frame...
he could have no face, and still be the most handsome man I've ever known.
and I wish I could say all the pretty things to him that I can write
the gooey sentences that make him love me harder than he should

I shouldn't have said what I did
I went too far, again.
His eyes reminded me of everything I've done to him.
flashing back to the mud puddle
He said: "Someday, I'll tire of waiting for you..."
I didn't believe him.

Flashing back to the books, and nooks, and the tiny coffee cups.
It's like we were the first two people to do that...
We invented the mid-day conversation, over beverages.
To sit in that spot
be so very...

"Sometimes people are just meant to know each other forever."

Waking up next to him on the floor...
Using a book for a pillow, his face was pained.
I was so happy to wake up right before him.
Those sleepy eyes...
he loved me then.

That day will haunt me forever...almost as much as today will.

Eastbound Tease

When everyones making a truce, you're the hold out.
"Don't do it honey,
because someone in Maryland is waiting to fall in love with you."

How could he have known?

My hair flung forward in a pile...
swimming in the pool of water that you built.
Thinking about my clairvoyant, dead friend_
how much he would've liked you, if only he weren't still dead.

You were working hard on your paintings,
Arms turning colors in front of me.
Tom Waits playing for inspiration,
and a cigarette to curb your nerves.

"To release them in the right order is important.
"You need to be here for the opening,
...and then we can live together with the lightning."
"Promise me."


and I love the way you grabbed my hip,
as the cutest words escaped your lips
"We are the energy."

Eating licorice in the morning,
watching your teeth turn blue.
Couldn't find the asterisks last night.
Looked hard,
looked like in the third grade when I lost my shoes.

I whispered to you:
"I'd give anything to have one more day with my jelly shoes, the gooold ones"

You whispered back:
"Stay the hell away from me if you're wearing those golden, rainbow shoes!
and please for the love of god, make me a freaking shark cake!"

Twang you are.
Somehow south you are.
Always yelling you are...always shaking,
Your own shifting sand-castle island retreat.

I've never known anyone like you.
You stink. You lie. You make me write poorly.

We argue the prettiest,
oil on canvas,
hands on clay.

On some level though, everything is beautiful,
even ballet in an empty pool.

You are a damn mess

Left me a terrible message tonight
"You know where the fuck to find me..."

Oh I certainly do
At the bottom of a yuengling bottle

l'gensture grand

rain on the grass
and that grin on your face
you stand up and say
"I'm about to destroy you."

waving to trains, and smiling at flowers
singing together on the ferry into the dark

being back here with you is surreal
under a harder sky this time

when everything settled down, I could collapse
I could crumble again, into the longest arms I've known
the most reliable,
and then you kissed me until the morning.

I was supposed to be

I was supposed to be nervous walking up to you,
or star struck...I wasn't.
Your eyes made it easy,
Your eyes were in it immediately.

Standing long, we were shivering.
Our friends wouldn't stop making noise.
You pointed with your head,
...rolled your eyes.

Smiling at me, you said,

"Where can we go to get some coffee"?

What a line.

the Only Eyes in Brooklyn

feet with fingers, and lips with hands...
when your body starts to drip away,
when the olive softens into gray,
you will still have the words.
you will still have what others cant even comprehend.

you are the last of them,
the last of the people who give a shit about anything.
you talk about full hearts, how you wish you could give more.

you give without speaking.

you want to be the one in the future...
somehow you cant you see that you're the one right now.

One more time y.l.b.

Go quietly until the day ends,
for every dying second

As you type like a madman,
you mock my pencil scratches

We communicate in grunts,
and I think about a new life everyday.

You called me names again last night.
"One more time, you little brat."

(my favorite of the insults)

I'm broken this morning,
my heart on the plate in front of you.
You eat like a pig.
I pretend to not notice.

Sit there, mixing up words to show me later...
words that might win me over again.

No one fights this much.

You make this harder than it has to be.
an you type so loudly.

Don't worry,
soon enough your words won't be about me at all.


I got it today,
The stack of books.
Some I'd not seen in years.
I couldn't wait to get my hands on brain.

I searched for my sentence for 45 minutes.
I couldn't remember which book it was in.
I know it by heart, but I needed to see the words.
How fitting that I finally found it in Chapter 24.

How absurdly perfect.

Knowing your hands had held them last, I smelled the pages.
Smushing my nose in, I hoped to smell a memory.

Told Me

Mixing up some notes tonight.
Coming up with some angry words.
Now I'll get my revenge.

Told me some secrets, told me some truth for a change.

You miss the white,
and the lack of height,
miss the cape of fire.

Told me that you gave in, but she still wanted more to go.

I think you should keep your empty boxes,
let them stack high to the ceiling.
Build your fort that makes it easier to hide.

Told me the ball is in my court, that it always was...

I know your misery isn't fleeting.
It isn't a trend to admire while it's new.
She'll never let you be miserable forever.

Told me that I understand the empty boxes, and that she never will.

It's okay to regret,
it's okay to be sullen,
to need nothing more than a dark room and a guitar.

The Just Files (a poem from my girlhood)

Bridges break,
Bones heal,
Hearts break,
Mondays suck,
You suck,
My heart won't heal.

Pointless Anger (a poem from my girlhood)

"Purity isn't a four-letter-word, stupid."
"Yeah, well, 'pure' is."

A lost origin (a blog entry from 2006)

Shaping, and adapting plastic may have changed my life tonight.

I watched as it was bending in front of me.
I watched until it broke open, and lost it's purpose.

It was frail and handsome.

It turns out everything you thought you knew was off.
That sounds negative to everyone but him. He knows.
It isn't negative, it's a promise...perhaps misplaced, but a promise.

I'm weird tonight. It's 3:33 a.m.
I've been in and out of sleep, and I think I was quoting Cohen again.

In fact, I know I was.
"A dismal pine cone".

I quote Cohen sometimes.
I don't quote others, or others things,
I can just relate to his work.

I can relate to the not knowing shit,
and thinking you know everything anyway.

Such an arrogant way to live a life...
such a private, lonely space in thinking that you know.

While falling asleep, I heard him say,
"I guess it depends on who you ask,
but I think everyone thinks you're beautiful."

"You're colder than I'd like you to be."

My mind slipped away when I heard the two sentences...
so very different in their intent.

I let him hold me as I fell asleep.
I don't let him hold me.
I don't know why...sometimes two people need that.

We have nothing more than friendship, and he knows that.
Tonight I caved because he wasn't okay, and I needed him to be.

That was hours ago.

So I'm awake again, thinking about what he said to me...
what he said to me under his breath, and maybe hoping that I didn't hear.

I'm not cold. I just don't know how to share my warmth properly.
Someone worth my time, I blow off.
I put all my attention into someone as distant as me.
Someone far away so I might never have to come to terms with loving.
Loving is tough.
It's easiest to be disconnected.

He's said before that I'll choose the wrong person to lay it on.
I want to force myself to do something braver,
I want to choose someone special.

"I want to stick a knitting needle up my nose and poke out my brain."

There I go, again.

Sometimes it gets like that, like the thoughts will annihilate you.

The options might be so clear to someone else.
I think it's just easier to see other people making mistakes.

"A coastline is a fractal"

If a coastline is a fractal, you are a parallelogram.
I need space to understand why I'm this way, and you aren't anymore.

I don't live like you do.
I cant recharge after one minute alone.

You fake it so well, still pretend to be so isolated.
You are the definition of social now.

(lie number one)

You need to let me be honest because I've been having some troubles with that shit.
I hurt us, him and I.

(lie number one)

You don't like when I tell you the truth.
My guts are burning with this one.

You "wanna make it better"? you want me to "push his memory away"?
You "wanna hold me close", you "wanna give up smokes"?

Prove it.

If a coastline is a fractal, that goes on and on and on...then let it.
Let it heal me, and recharge me in my own time.

I have made you crazy, desperate.

You asked me to ruin everything in my life to prove that I don't want you_
that I haven't needed you forever.

Rest easy, I will always be your fool.

You're still as shifty of a rock, as we always were.
On this coastline of perfection, we are fuck ups together.

Also, it aint a fractal.


I think about the obscurity that you worry about.
I think about the lies that you tell to stay at the top.

Numbers you can trust,
but words, they can turn on you.

Your lies have burned through me like the night.
I'm cold, and lost, and I cant recover just yet.

Fall down into the ice, and just surrender...
That'd be so much easier.

New life is starting right now...
a new person to trick.

To cover up your pain,
to pretend away your sadness.

I don't want to learn this one,
this lesson is breaking me.

He said

its like you wrote that song about us

He's trying to be you...
trying to fold himself up,
trying to fit into that scuffed up zip lock bag

trying to melt himself down to be one of those picks

In your hands...
if only in your hands

You Only Get One More

Twelve days and not a word,
...and soon the whole wide world will know.

May as well have printed out my name, you asshole.
I paint while you snore.

Seeing the tiniest of white slippers next to the ugliest argyle socks on planet Earth.
12 spoons dripping with pigment to prove to you that you were always right.

If I could stir the paint to make this work, I would.
This is it. This is the last one.

I wait for the night to explode into you.
The noise will come in soon, and I'll head for cover.

And to think, you're the only person who will know why.

beyond the bones

mornings are the hardest
remembering how I used to wake to soft, adoring kisses
that pepper a new face

Please don't steal my shit.