Tuesday, January 11, 2011


I wrote this poem when someone I loved was psychologically drowning, and no matter how hard I tried I could not save them. I nearly lost myself in their downward spiral. This was one of the worst periods of my life, but in the midst of so much that was heartache and pain I could not bring myself to give up on living. In recent weeks, I have spoken to number of people (whose presence I treasure), who are going through difficult times. I wish I could wave a magic wand and make it all disappear. Instead, I offer this small token....for everyone, who has known this struggle...for everyone, who writes to survive.

Not too long ago to remember
I was sitting on the periphery of insanity
I found myself locked in rock
rigid with what comes next

I knew if I dropped my vigilance
for even a second
I might uncover me on the opposite side of this galaxy
exhaling sulfur visions
of a world ruled by fractures and fissures
seismic tremors tearing reality into split personalities

and I see you in splintered shatters
down abyssal trenches swallowing psychosis
like sugared water sweetness
but not enough to disguise bitter signs posted
by enemies real and imagined

Because this is a sliced out section of space
where reality lies in scattered flickers
bytes and bits of chance and choice
so terrible and terrifying
you would shut down your mind’s madness
and it doesn’t matter if that means
you must clip your own wings
at least then you can’t fly blind
but open your eyes wide and fall fast
to feelings of vertigo turning
the whole world upside down and inside out
and you have still got your heart hanging
on the outside of your chest
so someone meeting you for the first time
knows what color you bleed
and sees you’ve got scars
carving your body more than skin deep

But the worst part of these wounds
is knowing when you look at everything
between your thumb and your index
you’re looking at the hand that did this
whittling your own flesh
with razors and words built for waging civil war

Because I see you swimming in a straight jacket
with weight in your back pockets praying
the next time you breathe will be the last
and when you take that gasp
all these fractures and figments will settle
into a film flashback
a montage of moments that mattered
in each second you and I talk
I have to wonder
which one are you running faster from
the death that inevitably someday must come
or this life you have with a gun in your hand
aimed in a thousand different directions at once
like you can turn annihilation
into some kind of map
that might make sense someday
but that’s after everything in your path
is blasted or burned away
because your side of the galaxy
is so far from where I am
as I stand right next to you in this ten by ten room
so scared your predictions are a taste
laced with some mad apocalyptic truth
as if in your delusions
you have drunk the fruit nectar of providence
dined on a divine destiny of destruction
inextricably coupled with love

So how do we finish this
because now I’m caught up in knots tied so fast
I can’t loosen
tearing them with teeth so desperate
I might dine on my own flesh escaping
this prison
where you are the warden the guard the keys
the walls the catcalls calling echoes
through blacked out halls
playing connect the dots with bullet shots
aimed at strategic places mapped out across me
wondering which bulls-eye
will make me bleed the most
and now I see me breaking free
throwing myself in a thousand directions at once
because I’m a ricocheted prayer
falling down to my hands and knees
begging you to please breathe
because maybe just maybe
tomorrow you’ll be able to say to me
and anyone else who can listen or pay attention
today I did not find joy bliss or happiness
but for one second I knew I’d miss being alive
and baby sometimes that’s the thought
you need to survive

Thursday, January 6, 2011


This was written ages ago, but given that I was recently told that men prefer women to be weak and unsubstantial this seemed an appropriate response.
May we learn from our creations....

When adam gave his ribs for me
He left the left side of his chest defenseless
His flesh like drum skin stretched taught and delicate
A finger pressed could bruise the rhythm of his heart
I have wondered what he wished for
When he surrendered sanctioned cages for me

I know he found a sparring partner
Because I was born from a rigid bone protection
I do not know how to yield
I was made to walk through fire without melting     
They will model skyscrapers from the formation of my skeleton
Built to withstand tidal forces born in abysses cracking the center of the world

For a thousand millennia I remember life as a speculation
A hypothetical conundrum
We talked for hours about every possibility just out of reach
Philosophy has no teeth when there is no risk
When every fall lands soft 
When wounds give no pain
When love is effortless
Even the sacred is a prison when you cannot leave
When each step is a delivered diagram drawn by divine intervention
This was not living

When time wore mere existence thin
Transparent to the naked eye
I wanted to break bones
I wanted to rub nerve endings raw with need
I wanted to discover gravity when I fell
No caution to catch me short

I bit into rebellion and its taste was sweet
A perfectly ripened fruit
So succulent I could not hold it all to myself
This was my gift to adam
He could not say no
He too saw the other side of paradise
We saw together
Destruction yawning wide through its middle
And even the harbinger of a wild grief did not diminish her beauty

This was the first time I looked on my lover
This was the first time I saw him
And I ached defenseless on the left side of my chest
As I gave up my rib for another
There was a new life cocooned and aflame in my center
This was my genesis
The bare foot hills to a zenith only imagined for ten thousand centuries
I see it now before me
Here are the endless generations it will take to reach the summit
I am terrified and it is glorious
And this is only the beginning

Sunday, January 2, 2011


There are legends written along the concave curve
of a newborn’s cradled ribs.
They are prophecies.
like this one:
I will love my son so much
I won’t be able to let him go.
I will carry his cellular traces in my streams
as his shadows sewn to my limbs become
constant companions long after his birth.

Years ago
I read
doctors discovered mothers
can carry the genetic material of their children
for a lifetime after birth.
They call this a chimerism.

Definition chimera:
A mythical, fire-breathing monster, commonly drawn
with a lion’s head, a goat’s body, and a serpent’s tail.

This is my future.
Picture me a Frankenstein of genetic tissue.
I become a fire-breathing monster
a pieced together patchwork of biology
so thankful
I might still have him with me
even if he is on the other side of the world.

So maybe this doesn’t matter when doctors ask,
why do women, more often than men, develop autoimmune diseases?

In fetal microchimerism
they think
they found an answer.
Children’s cells left behind in mother’s blood
might be mistaken for genetic guerrillas  
so her body turns on itself.
Immune defenses destroying indiscriminate
and ruthless
I glimpse a possible future.

When my son is born
I will not see where I end and he begins.
The slow severing of this umbilicus will be excruciating
a premeditated amputation that must come I know
I will still reach to hold his hand when he is not there…
the reminiscent shadow of a lost limb.

When he wants to go
for the first time, to a friend’s house
without me.
I will let him
imagining every worst case scenario.
Scenes filled
with matches, lighter fluid, aerosol cans,
swimming pools, and second story balconies.
When he comes home
I will be hiding relief in my back pockets.

When he falls in love
I will not ask him to stop
even if I see heartbreak following.
But every time he hurts
I will find my own body embattled with his aching.
I will wear wounds
as deliberate decorative laced scars.
Here is a monster in the making.

But doctors offer another possibility for the chimera.
These left behind strayed cells
inside a mother might become warriors.
Her children’s DNA remnant ribbons running
through capillaries to veins
might fight to repair her damaged body.
This is a son making good at the molecular level.

This is my foretelling.

I will love him so much
I will be afraid to take pictures
celluloid stealing moments too precious for permanence.
He will be beautiful with small things.

Like breathing when he’s sleeping.
The only time in 24 hours he’s quiet.

Like running beside my car.
“I am happy to see you” drummed out in every full throttle footprint.

Like wearing chocolate as war paint.

Like patting my hand gentle
When I can’t talk, because life
has gotten bottled and stoppered
at the back of my throat.
I can’t breathe.
And my son will whisper,
“Mommy, it’ll be okay.”

These moments will be butterfly dust
caught in whorls of fingerprints dissolved to
universal matter blown away with a breath.
I will barely notice as they leave me just
a bit lighter
running him banner streaming
through chains and ladders and spirals in
links and pairs and unraveling predictions.