Friday, January 31, 2020

the show

way up on Kensington Ave
driving southwest right into the sun
a man walking his bike up the sidewalk
stops, leans on it
nodding out
pull over to check on him
he speaks like a sleepy puppy
I'm ok, I appreciate it
drive safe now 
he's right
it's wild up here
people shaking on every corner
making wonky maneuvers
toon town
the painted signs are too beautiful
I buy some wine for Samantha & Sam up on Fox Ave
look at a rhinestone belt in "Got the Look"
on the way home
60 mph on Lincoln Drive
drive past my block
looking for a river view
nothing but run down
cul-de-sacs in the way
back and forth over
Grey's Ferry bridge
to catch the glimmer

Thursday, January 30, 2020


a wakeboarding competition was held 
on the Schuylkill after a rainstorm
he thought it was funny because
it was sponsored by Yoo-hoo
and the river was brown
like chocolate milk

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

name game

we can name the shapes
bat their sounds around

while in the chrysalis a caterpillar
becomes almost entirely liquid
before reconstituting into a butterfly

how does nothing know
to keep being something?

also butterflies remember things
that happened to them from before
they morph, despite their tiny brains
disappearing almost completely

does it matter what you call God?
is it all just carbon playing games?

language also knows
to keep being something
slipping like the Schulykill

is a name a fate?

so many lbs

sitting for a day
breaking for menial tasks
I contemplate the word you
I can't eat but I do
you, could be a knife
a handbasket
a carrier bag 
fiction, the first tool
was more like a net
than a weapon
and I know it
by the weight
of my heart

and today 3

at least my art is in some Venn diagram 
sitting by the window/stewing 
the day is a phone and I'm full
of soggy blank envelopes
I was not hoping for

^ emerging as extraneous display stuff
at least--

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

fun pattern

finally call Mom
to see how it’s all
suspended shapes
still here, together
caught in a web
I don’t get to choose
the same but different
this time around
softer and older
this time
she knows I know
she’s actually past “that cliff”
even though she says she’s
“pulled herself off it”
I’m a little hoarse but listen
baby, listen
I’m ok
my stomach hurts
and it’s fine
I hold the shapes at arms length
they jangle
like a wind chime

and today 2

I’m cooling down
time be like that
getting older too
I know it while
washing my face 
for once
life is a turn off
or life is a blip
in eternity 
so I squash shame
like a grape under my tailbone 

Monday, January 27, 2020

and today

it's like half of my face wants to cry
and the other half is thinking about why
and the back of my head how
and that was earlier before
knowing what I knew

baby food experience in the car
all the ounces dripping at the
red light trying to write --

how it would feel to be free
its when i hear the bird songs
before putting in the headphones
i'm 5 again/it was all birds

how it would feel to be free
singing/making a painting
of singing the prettiest thing

Sunday, January 26, 2020


woke up feeling creepy
my curtains at half staff
when the helicopter crashed
found out he's been with that
girl from work all week and
I'm sick w/ feelings up to my
throat like a jello nothing
I'm so hurt its uninteresting
all week knowing like low tide
the air is so polluted its gray


I've been asking everyone
for about a decade now
if they can think of an adjective
that means "having the effects
of an optical illusion" that isn't
just "trippy" or "illusory" because
those both mean something else
"vibratory" doesn't work either
there should be a word, one word
so you don't have to say
the whole drawn out sentence
"it is like an optical illusion" or
"it is producing an optical effect"
it probably exists in a another

Saturday, January 25, 2020


received 2lbs of
my own beeswax
in the mail
list not checking itself off
fast enough
the sun breaks through the clouds
just as the beat comes in
then it sets and I don't get to choose
how I feel
longing to be
wherever the party is
in my heart
in my head

Thank You, Mary

a while ago

adding the mouth guard to my head 
was another thing too many despite 
grinding my teeth to the experience 
of a cold mushroom 
start contemplating the meaning 
of mental breakdown in the process 
i see metal parts and say now
you are breathing in and now
you are breathing out 

Friday, January 24, 2020

the doomsday clock is at 100 seconds to midnight

here still
full of nothing to
say one thing one day
and something else
another I’m
a mess
connect and

Thursday, January 23, 2020

new dream or hell induced wonder

the wedding of my own
(I call him) husband
to another
one of those big ones
in small town Connecticut
I knew the bride to be vaguely
I knew why we were in
Connecticut but did she?

some of us were given small notes
with scribbled speech prompts
why do you think me and ****
should keep sleeping together?
that's mine?
what I came up with was
I can't talk, or I'll cry 

there was a breakdown/intermission
with strippers that was participatory
and revealed who was comfortable
with sex etc

I stepped outside,
into the dregs of a monsoon

I walked to a flower shop on the dock,
a man and his son

I walked into a hotel,
faceless people in the corner,
the way I curved around them

I walked too far down some carpeted stairs
and saw complete darkness

I turned back towards the wedding with
a waxing right to my pain
its shape revealed I thought
there's a lego vibe to the end of all this
I could have put some pieces together

**** **
to squeeze myself into the regular beginning of
what I thought was a dark morning but
the sun just hasn't found my window

Wednesday, January 22, 2020


harp is the instrument most like sunlight
also Bobby Valentino “Slow Down”

we talk about death while training the new girl
I say I'm "trying to think about it more"

rushing to be alone

generous with time cuz 
it’s not mine anyway when 
I imagine a friend telling another 
I'm dead in some hour I planned for
/hoarded in advance 

yes you can sleep in my bed all day
text me
do yoga in your leather belt
next to me

Tuesday, January 21, 2020


the medieval building on the waterfront
tall and looming
every square inch of its exterior
covered in seaweed
blowing in the wind shiny
I see from a bird’s eye view
people playing with nets
in the shallow water surrounding
sun ripples up to their calves


when they asked how long
I’ve been in this city
I realized I haven’t


I learned that those ubiquitous spiky balls
on the sidewalk are from Sweet Gum trees
so you can call them gum balls

tiny medieval weapons
“morning star”
is what that weapon is called

stress relieving and magical

a vein parallel to my bone
or what is that
center of the wrist

a bath in a big enough tub
one twinkling song
and I’m home

I sense some strands
have been stretched
tired, also death

living next to the train
for one night and
sleeping in the same room
as the baby 

it’s what I thought life would be
before I was born


My grandma my grandma
Mima! My grandma 
My grandma
My grandma my grandma
Mima! My grandma 
My grandma
My grandma my grandma
Mima! My grandma 
My grandma
My grandma my grandma
Mima! My grandma 
My grandma
My grandma my grandma
Mima! My grandma 
My grandma
My grandma my grandma
Mima! My grandma 
My grandma
My grandma my grandma
Mima! My grandma 
My grandma

Monday, January 20, 2020

Say it Straight (Livy I'm Here)

sad the first night
you could have done something

gone to the desert
the national park

problem is 
this feels like
the wrong search result
like a hard sheet of some
super obvious
shattering substance 

we just walked along the main road
winding, loud, with burs
the dogs paws bothered

we sang an entire musical
to be in song, walking, like
eating two right foods 
for good digestion
to eat for a fun time

not sure how to act hot
like the others in their 
pictures so 
I play easy
to be around


unexpected day off
to freak out
about everything
and do nothing


Friday, January 17, 2020

the same

curling a ribbon
deveining a shrimp

Wednesday, January 15, 2020



I watch as the woman
lifts her apple watch 
to the infant's face

nobody told the flowers to come up

you have to sprint towards your goals 
or inertia will crush you like a stone
it's all around us 
at the end of an 8.5 hour shift
you just have to pick yourself up
and keep throwing yourself at that wall
(pick a wall, any wall)
until it cracks
cos 9 times out of 10
you will bounce right off 
there's no silver bullet
for this thing
not in a poem 
not in a horoscope
I set a timer 


the person who stands outside the store 
asks me to buy her white vinegar
when I hand it to her she screws off the top
and starts drinking it like water


I'm here for you like 
the nightlight in the bathroom
when you stumble in

Sunday, January 12, 2020

intellectual birthday candle

when you try to make something that you pictured
and it turns out the materials on hand don't work at all
and you're right back where you started with a fantasy
less time and some wasteful scraps a sticky mess when
you try to make something and you realize you will
probably run out of materials and you're going to have
to spend money again when you try to make something
and are confronted by technical challenges harsh reality
impinges on the fantasy object when you try

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Consider Discipline (Again)

in the dumb cafe
I unwittingly
braid the potted fern
behind me
into my hair

I think capturing
slivers of her
shiny painted nails
in the scanner bed
when assembling
our reading packets
is part of our teacher's
artistic practice

the White House wants
to let many pipelines
and other major projects
go ahead without review

I wonder what's a choice
and what's a habit
I wonder what we all are
without each other

Wednesday, January 8, 2020


50 people die in stampede
at funeral procession of Soleimani
missiles fired at US base in Iraq
Iranian Americans detained for 11 hours
at US Canadian border
Australia in flames

Monday, January 6, 2020

dirt equation

family trees
should be upside down
given the old ones
are up there
or out there
we are the
roots more
down low and
I like the idea of
put in one nurse
 + one grandpa
get out one
put in mom
+ dad
get out two

walk sign is on to cross

following him on his trash route
long pause at the corner of Landsdowne 
and Baltimore 
diagonal sun
crosswalk chirping
there is quite a lot of litter
by the bus stop
I try to follow 
not too close
but I couldn’t be more conspicuous
funky skirt bold scarf
jangly accessories
dawdling as only 
a hipster can
what is a poem more than
hot pink plastic ribbon 
looped through a fence
a mennonite construction worker
with a bowl cut stares
    $ A STAR $
      SO MANY 
but the lights off
it's all closed on this Monday
Landshutdowne Ave
I lean on the parking meter
cars run over my tall
3 o'clock shadow
someone says shadow 
on a speakerphone call
I catch it through 
the open window 
of their car passing
    Jesus = the Light of
   the World Reflect 
          that Light! 
  Have a Blessed 2020
written in chalk by hand
the last half of the route 
is going east on Baltimore
towards the skyline like 
the Emerald City again
church bells for 3:30 pm
moon white 
on the center
of the blue sky
like a fruit sticker
layer upon layer 
of chipped&faded 
lavender paint on 
a metal pole
trophies in the 
window of a martial 
arts studio
I don't need much
all I ask is just
park me in the sun

Saturday, January 4, 2020

after jung tzu

the mirror in my bedroom
is an elegant forest
when I sit at my desk 
peripheral vision
on a frozen pond
trick butterfly
smokey glass eye
my bedroom mirror
is a free agent
ice fishing for a dull face
to stare into
a heavy sleeper
to fuck with

Friday, January 3, 2020

the elegant brain

nuzzle a beer to my cheek
wipe the toilet seat
Chaplin vs Keaton
avuncular vs patuncular
why not avauntular?
looking for a shiny surface
to make eye contact with
I'm always texting Mega Bed
but the friend of the friend
is apparently always secretly
recording audio with his phone

wet lights

babysit the
wet lights
on the rain walk
instead of all
the smart boys
who don’t even
need me

babysit the ice rink
babysit pearls
on the edge
of a feeling like
a lake

we’re all just skulls
waiting to happen
feel your eye sockets
see what I mean
do whatever
you want

Fat Stream / To Do

my list
is always long
so in the purgatory
of a sick day
do I do all or
do nothing?

it goes
and on
choose ice skating
or nursing school
tired of needing

listen to Key
by Meredith Monk
start to finish
like the answer is
in there somewhere
half medicine
half torture

my list is long
more money
do you have to
wrestle back
into yourself
all the time?