Monday, November 27, 2017

Circus Around Us

if a pastel drawing could be tall 
it'd be Santa Cruz- tall like thick
on the paper but soft and just
tall enough to fit me and
Livy- the body temp 
bliss envelopes
the circus around us
stays, we cruise 

through the landscape 
I think the west coast
looks imagined

and she says it's the garden
of earthly delights 

lol, clothes, bacon, 
tea and silver

these sharp jokes
for us alone
spill a 
that ends
at our fingers

drag in the sand
darken our eyebrows

it's a playground

I buy the things
that the people here
wear so that maybe
I'll have to stay?

remember the long days
of being babies
and those poems- 
when I pass the flat 
and easy street corners
spider webs on wet, pink paper

now down the long
california road
I wish to make this
as dense as that tall
drawing, as sweet
and marzipan as
that much pastel

it's almost midnight
and I need to touch on 
the ceramic purse-
speech bubbling on the beach
there's no perfect bag
so risky and chic 
and I see a free box 
with nothing in it
we laugh about
bringing one on the plane

so far I've just touched it

and our fingers are full

we fall on the sand

our ovaries burn

you touch all your socks

in the bird feather sand

plain, painted, people who
watch us hold hands
in circles around us the

Sunday, November 26, 2017

In The Land Where Black-Eyed-Susans Bloom Through the Winter say it backwards I love all of my sisters by blood and by choice Pepitas Stockings cuteofus My Enduring Memories

not heavy enough

I imagine buffing the East Coast sky with a sander
to make it bigger and softer
it’s so sharp and small compared to the West Coast
in current assessment 
the Tri-State Area is my black yin dot 
to my white yang California teardrop

every other storefront on Mission Street is under construction 
no more Thrift Town no more dollar store no more Goodwill 
peeling painted signs on unlit windows 
defeated shells encasing dusty construction tableaux

still a dirt-caked man sparking an already blackened crack pipe 
half beneath a soiled floral comforter on the threshold of the A.A.
still an ice blue pinpoint eyes woman staring from her throne 
swaddled in too many layers of clothing like a queen
I get on the subway, it rolls east out of sad and pretty painted SF
which is close but not quite my home 

in the moment between the train coming up from underwater 
and into West Oakland station
I see the line of yellow poplar trees, unreal, the Emerald City painted on the backdrop
that marks the apartment on Henry Street where my sister my mom and I lived 
just a flash of the red-brown roof, a flash of dappled sun glinting on green grass 
in the park at the end of our street, the end of the bottom of the Lower Bottoms
this view is the closest I ever get to that figment
I can’t confirm if it’s real

Mom gave me the corner bedroom in the trees after Lucia moved out 
it’s dark wood wainscoting hemmed me in
solitary princess in a twin bed
yellow shimmer-disk leaves in the windows 
towards the end of us living there we were more and more like dolls in a dollhouse
the clean particularity of our possessions
sparseness indicating the death of something
the Three Women dynamic that bound us
we would never exist in that configuration again
Mom and I were increasingly quiet and spacious with one another

cheap comforting smell of Suave shampoo
all of our household essentials came from the big dollar store on 7th street
I took lots of baths in the tiny tub
skipped school often just to draw and make cup after cup of jasmine tea
clear enamel Victorian hand mirror 
iron bust of a clown with a lever arm to slide coins into his mouth
painted Buddha and smiling flamenco doll
the objects that fleshed out our home were suddenly too flimsy
not heavy enough to add up to a permanence

I played guitar in the early morning before school
she listened through the door blocked by a desk that connected the two bedrooms
when I left it would be impossibly quiet
she must have felt the need to put the last of that era out of its misery
to whip up a whirling shit storm 
rather than see me off 

forever retracing the paw prints pinpointing the x marks the historic 
spots on the map of mega chapters  

when God shook out the landscape like a blanket 
She let it fall the first time so wrinkled 
as to make mountains, lakes, oceans, etc.

then She threw us down in the sand
where we like to flop 

I would wear that white dress
if I was Ferrante’s Lila or Lenu and getting married 

of course we are though
each other’s Blue Fairy

tan bums watch us walk
demand a personalized smile in their direction 
Haha fuck you

rag dolls on the beach in all of our clothes 

Not As In Final
One of those boxes is her resting place not as in R.I.P. but like she naps there

Monday, November 20, 2017

Thank YOU

thanks for the gum

women's restroom at the airport 
WOMEN in huge silver capital letters fixed to the marbled wall
like a monument to women
think about WOMEN

Forgetting / Remembering

cold gym scent as I pull the plastic cartoon door handle
I already feel it as an ill-fitting memory
past tense, that winter spent with purple and yellow machinery
in a strip mall
it bothers me for the length of the staircase
that scent being etched forever in place of something more romantic
up the three rises hugging a corner of floor to ceiling windows
black reflective winter darkness
Then I acclimate, I forget to be so careful
I like the gym
trying to feel like the most beautiful ant
I get scared in the winter
I want to be intentional about what I etch
what I chisel out
There is a consignment store and a beer depot in the same strip mall as the gym
a store selling exclusively swimwear year-round
a massage chain, a nail salon
Playboi Carti on the car radio
in New York I milly rock what hide it in my sock oo 
why do I love CVS?
It has become my crystalline fixation
in this nebulous whirl of a year, nebulous whirl of issues
that capitalism and "masculinity" are scourges on this earth
I want so badly to chisel out something better


mom called us into her bedroom
I was 6 or 7 or 8 
she was laying up in bed on fluffy pillows 
is she sick? is this good or bad I thought
why does she sound so strange
she said she was pregnant, they wanted to name him Ray
we were to celebrate but it felt wrong
the 1950s bed frame painted with powdery roses
her short dyed burgundy hair, sterling Mexican skull earrings, the pillows
she soon after either had a miscarriage or the whole thing was imagined

Sunday, November 19, 2017

private prop

the day is a phone
even when the days are fun like baby
blocks 3 fun days big blocks in a row

they’re still big and there’s climbing 

I walk the blocks that are long curves
invisible until I am outside
the mysterious happenings 
of our neighbors

trusting the unconscious mind
to connect the dots
is the creepiness in writing 
this desperation
in trusting as I walk
eyes so wide as to
drink all potential

pine cone garden
pink newspaper sleeve

am I exercising am I

private property
oranges that 
look like limes
at first

one birdhouse
in an empty garage
a blonde bombshell
her pending sale

on the block with the liquor store
where the guy thought Tyler said
correctors when he was trying
to say characters
like Mickey Mouse?
I make videos
so color correction?
no like Mickey
this stuck so
this block I see
trees that look
like bony cartoon
correctors, naturally

part me of wants
to be in the know
about what it takes 
to rent-a-fence
to have complete
knowledge of the
neighborhood in
simple lego-like terms
but only the first
part when oranges
are still limes
the first part of
sims when it's 
all naming and 
what is it about
setting up that's so

a slime patty coated in dirt
draped over an electric box
it shocks me

Monday, November 13, 2017

Hills & Blessings

at 11:11
the alarm reminds me to pet and
all week I've felt so serious about it
so certain that Sunday night was perfect
for me and my sister, this weekend
was rolling hills
a monument of them
and everyone has their own
to cry on but
they roll twisted
and tomorrow just
isn't always so
my mom reminds me
so here I am
I've tinkered with pt 2
I've cooked and
I've cried and
I need a tarot
reading tonight
sleep will escape me again and
the mysterious shittiness
of my body in limbo
will keep me up with all its
for escape routes
so many options each leaking from
a pore and my jaw
is locked
right where my cheek rings
like an ear aware
of the dead moon gone
a face tat nowhere another
ghost to add to the
list that rings and
stirs and shows up
with the exit signs
that I remember from
a past life feels like a
Sunday night
and I used to think
only some people died
and I wish on my alarm
for a seventh heaven phone chord
to be drawn permanently
between us and for the
ringing to just be you

Sunday, November 12, 2017

First Frost Frozen Pink Flowers R.I.P. I Love You Fred Cole

I chase the thought 
lacklusterly walk behind the poemfragment 
I was thinking
I look down for a moment 

flip the pages of my blue memo pad
chores and duties a pragmatic sludge
I look up and the thought is far away
I write the O's in "TO DO" as spirals
spiral of never able to let it rest
the cuteness of discipline

Texts from Mom about her plans for the day
I am uneasy at how similar they are to my own
on Saturdays I water my plants too
my lingering morning cough is hers
three ascending notes chiming mundanely

how she shuffles in her slippers
I can't explain it
resolutely solitary spinster
androgynous shadow shell
looking to me for completion
I don't want to be that

I resent that throughout this year not speaking
our habits have remained so similar
that now we talk competitively about our gardens
crafts and cooking tactics
our need to be solitary
our angst about having to work alone

There still isn't enough room
My brooding hasn't made me a different animal
It just brings me closer to a shade of her

I try to be full of love and patience
I cast straw over the sleeping garlic
pulling the covers over half of my garden bed
throw clover seeds over the other half
I rake them into the dirt

Fred and Toody sing to me
go to my room, lock the door
and plan my escape
run away from myself
I worry that its already too cold for the clover to root
the birdbath is a solid crystal ball full of trapped pink leaves
everything has wilted
thousands of shrugging shoulders

I rake up fig leaves
their deep green smell is comforting
and the slanted sun strong enough
A perfect fig reveals itself beneath the rake
I pick it up and bite into it
pleased to find its center frosted like sorbet

Everything dusty icy pink, pale golden yellow
the middle of the day already tipping into the end
Fred and Toody hovering around
I make the promise to him, another dead friend
that I'll never turn my back on magic
& resourcefulness

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Nothing Every Goes Away (pt 1)

says James
the words feel strong now
I used to have
religion, but nothing
ever goes away
a song to hum,
one you wake up with in your head
a dead friend, any desire
any lie stays

relationships are
delicate truths made
of lies

familiar even with just 
words is the scene: walking 
through the city, the new couple
on the same streets I was
feeling the same way
along the lines of
gold and blue or
whiskey and perfume
she leaned closer to him
and the colors of her shawl flashed

when new york is about to burst
with heat and light and
everyone walking
is part of that

I want to convey the meaning
and weight of energy
without resorting to
anything that exists

but in the same way 
that New York'sparticipantss
create its heat, do the passengers
on this plane
create the stale air of stress
the combinations of origins 
the cauldron of energy in
any given container
maybe I should look at

where does one energy stop 
and another begin how
does the massive looming west coast 
cloud filled sky goldenpeach ripe...
above the rockies 
where is the wall between that 
and the aliens of us 
how different could the big 
quiet sky be
from the stale stress

I have conquered my fear
of turbulence today
because it wouldn't cease
I won't clutch my chest
or close my eyes,
put down the book
but I say that now
I stare at my veins
and wonder about
their reaction to
this unimaginable

Again Turnpike

Outside the smudgy windows of the bus
golden rod and pinkish pussy willows 
Marshy beautiful ponds with 
white butterflies dipping around

the lady in my headphones says
Letting the self be just what it is,
letting everything be alright, is love

it smells like toilet
I remember
厕所 - ce suo 
which always sounded like cesspool to me

Be alright with that?
Let that sensation into my meditation (self, love)
which says
Notice everything take it in do not judge it

Can I walk with that
In a dusty warm world
Heart spread out like a fan

Let myself walk
In the margins of the turnpike
Walk alongside the bus