She is not a poet. This is not a poem.

She leaves poems all over the place

like dirty socks.

Words worn for a minute and rolled off into a wad in the hall,

under the bed,

in an imaginary New York apartment with wood floors,

but this is just Phoenix

and the fucking heat will burn a hole in your soul

like the words you want the world to hear,

but instead just sit on an unread unfollowed unsubscribed blog

without anyone–not even your mother

ever laying eyes on them.

She

sits in her white suburb at the kitchen table scarred by the

careless hands of children, and she stares

at the wall thinking

about how to put these words into some sort of meal

that makes people devour them and sit back with full bellies

savoring the juiciness.

She is just making poems from a box, ordering takeout

phrases that just do not satisfy.

She

used to be part of family dinner and even though it wasn’t New York,

the poems didn’t matter anymore.  She was full.

And now, she is alone in a room full of people

and the words matter to no one else

but fill up the moment, the day, the life

for they are all

she

has

 

 

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After the Fire
Let the Motherfucker Burn

It turns out to be a moment
like a police officer showing up at your door

informing you that a part of you has died
all of the breath leaves your body

someone has to shake you to inhale
but you can’t find the air

that is the moment you realize
nothing in your life will ever be the same

the moment you realize it was in fact
too good to be true

when no matter the angle
or the distance

the only thing in focus is him smiling
at her with the secret whisper that was only for you

too late to test the smoke detectors
too late to clear the dead brush

this is not the fire of welcome home
no, this is to oblivion

where your life and the walls that contained it
are blackened smoke and ash melted into a muddy heap

where nothing, not even your own hand
is recognizable

Lost to Avalon

We were born under the stars
in a redwood forest
our words spilling into the night air
from the twisted vines of all the lovers before us.

It was no accident that the redwoods burned to the ground
the same year, the same month as all our promises.

Yesterday, I reached through the ashes,
pulled the magic through more than a decade
to wrap my body in it once more.
When it was over, I saw at last
the magician

packing up his illusions.
I could not unsee.
No more sparkle in the stars, bodies in the moonlight,
lips and breath like wine.
All the real magic was left to the wizards and fairies
of Avalon.

We are too grown now–
too drunk to believe.

After the Butterflies

Long after the butterflies
have flown,
after the artist’s hands stopped painting
thick textured strokes, composing our oneness, our space,
you can stand all winter on the edge
of the canyon
waiting
for the shapes and colors to change.

It is easy to miss in the watching.
When looking closely at the line between darkness and light,
you see there is only blur,
bits of darkness mixing with tiny breaks of light.
They are not themselves.  They are not each other.

We have journeyed many times around the sun,
only to find ourselves now in this alien space
where you look familiar, but have no gravity.
Where I find myself floating away
untethered, bound to become the distance.

This is the place where we no longer feel
the desert floor beneath our feet. Here where we were
once drawn together in your cool shade.
It is now a far away fairytale place, a
time lost to dreams.

Me, waking atop that mountain
exposed and burning in the midday sun.

Heartsong

I fold myself up, and you wrap around
I the seed, you the ground

in the breeze, soft piano
I watch closely the purple aura of your hands

in comes the violin
your solid gaze guiding me in the dance

no one has ever looked at me that way
I recognize you from years of wanting

your face no longer a shadow
your touch no longer a whisper on my neck

music playing a slow sad melody
something acoustic my bones can hold tight

I miss you even from the time before
I knew you. Waiting for your dark eyes

to come settle into an all night conversation
between our bodies and the music; a love without words

even when words are all I know
I am humbled speechless by this vast thing that is us

born silently over a pile of broken rules
through the pounding bass of naysayers

captive breath, as notes like butterflies release a prayer
let this ballad last

never apart
until there is no sound

Coltrane and Rainy Days

Cursor blinking on the page

unfinished labor of money, not love

while lost in a moment of Coltrane

always back to those honeymoon days

where it was cool and rainy outside,

cool and warm inside, barefoot in blankets and books

philosophical political purposeful conversations,

nights filled with red wine, the soft twinkle of

patio lights surrounded by passionate minds and

laughter, the burning of more than just candles

between us.   Another time before children,

before the fast-forward of life and cymbals

banging, before beds were strictly for sleeping,

before bright lights.  Maybe it was only a moment

or something we saw in a movie once.

 

Lost in the lazy piano and hot-blooded

trumpet, I can see those artist hands

of yours against my white arm

resting on the slow breaths of your chest.

Music drawn to a sad close,

I hear it– flashing cursor, pinging email,

stacks of paper.

But this day; this life,

was meant for so much more.

Scientific Method of a Kiss

1 – Ask a question
His lips are moving, but what is he saying?

2 – Form a hypothesis
He is talking about work, but his lips are mouthing love.

3—Conduct an experiment
Smile back. Let go of doubt.  Release inhibition.

4—Analyze results
A second date.  Attraction. Lips and hearts magnetic. Explosion.

5—Make a conclusion
This kiss, resulting in explosion, confirms hypothesis.

We are in love.  Have been since ask a question.

Twenty-four

Anything can happen.
Like one of those days
when hell freezes over or
pigs sprout pixie wings and soar off
to Neverland.

You asked me out for Sushi–
I said yes to play along,
with a smile that tempted faith
in humanity.
A debate which fortunately,
you lost.

The whole way there my thoughts
turned to grins.
He’s just a kid. Soon there will be
a camera in my face
seeking reaction to the final reveal.

Then we arrived at this place–
an intimate Cherry Blossom
wood, red brick, and candlelight.
And I realize…
This is no kid.
Dark brown eyes boring through me
for real, seeking all of my truths.

And I no longer know anything
real or unreal.
For the world has turned strange, colorful.
All of its rules blown away in this whirlwind
leaving me like a child
in a place full of whimsy and wonder
and absolutely no adult sense of reason
to resist.

Love Letter

Remember when they called you head-turner
and the comment turned your head around
to hear what they were saying.
You dipped yourself in that moment, and
soaked it into your skin,
when life was a ruffled white bikini.

Now gentle brush of the cheek,
a full frontal inspection
demands a closer look
revealing– who?

Tiny lines doing simple multiplication,
a smile making them exponential.
On the verge of condemnation
I felt something, recognized a familiar face
Suddenly and for a moment
doubt and mockery of everything self-love
cast aside,

I wrote what I could not say out loud:
Dearest,
Let all the drug dealers pushing Prozac
and cognitive-behavioral worksheets
with their calm Nurse Ratchet voices,
for once–  crack open a new universe
and say…

It’s okay to prefer darkness to light.
Go ahead with disdain for the day.
Celebrate the night!
It is only in total darkness
where we see the brightness of stars.

Like Einstein’s fish,
no happy pill can make a star feel worthy
by extinguishing its flight, roaming the earth
in full daylight.  Only swimming in the dark skies
of poetry, art, and philosophy can reveal the truth
worth living passionately for–

Sense the rage of injustice as it builds its mighty wall
feel the starvation for love,
in every orphaned child and
empty bottomless tearing off of limbs
for the world’s orphaned parents.
Cry.

Fill every watershed and well.
Let no wetlands remain dry,
and when all pain is sufficiently spilled–
released into the earth for regrowth,
sit silently smiling on the edge of the world.

See the green and the gold of your eyes,
embraced by the life lines you’ve earned.
Sit smiling for youth gone by and love
every small joy, every breath of early morning mist
every yellow butterfly against a blue sky

Let secrets flutter to the past
Throw your words of rage into wishing wells
Feel the tightness of the urgent present melt away
until now fills the room with a calm blue.
Let gratitude drape the shoulders of the mother, daughter, and friend.
Let it live in life’s poetry–

a familiar scent like autumn apples,
a welcome home to the voice
I have always known.
Welcome, my first love.
Come into the rain.
This is where the real you grows.

May You Always Have Mangoes:

with love for Ms Jones and Mr Brown on their Wedding Day
Two, November, Two Thousand Fourteen

at least one shared sunrise
waking to that slice of light across his or her perfect sleeping face
stimulating dinner conversations, wine flowing
just the two of you, or surrounded by family and friends
laughter. always laughter.
the right amount of longing
until your smiles are joined again
sunsets on the porch, on the beach, at the end of an argument
that never makes it through the night
love that feels as strong as the first time and as deep as the
last for all the rest of your lives
happiness together
like a bouquet of fruit flowers
delivered fresh to your morning table each day
may you never run out of things to say
and your love stay sweet and ripe to make your mouths water
through all the seasons of your lives

these things I wish for you
lovely couple

may your house always be full with the beautiful orange joy of mangoes