The only useful thing I have to say about racism.

 

don't shoot

Jesus in the garden
prayed. Begged
for his life.
Because we cannot take back our cruelty, we make him king.
Hold him up.
Hold up the shreds of his garments.
We feel so stupid now.

We didn’t know he was God
until we saw him bleed.
And now we make each other bleed.
We say, you are not god.
That is not god lying dead in the street.
That was not god begging for his life.
How do you know?

How do you know he won’t
come back with black skin
wearing a hoodie or just,
you know, walking through
your neighborhood on a
beautiful day?
How do you know three days from now you won’t
remember his face?

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i am in love with my skeleton

wpid-sketch7122109.pngi am in love with my skeleton
my ribs when i can feel them
hard under the skin.

i am in love with my skeleton
all these finite bones
a clattering of dust
on its way to the bin.

i am in love with my skeleton
the femur like a bat
a weapon clothed in flesh.

i am in love with my skeleton
in motion and at rest
heavy in the bed.

i am in love with my skeleton
the ball and socket joints
the hinges and the fusion
of young bones grown old.

i am in love with my skeleton
hollow with breath
the pelvic bowl cradling
this primordial ache.

i am in love with my skeleton
when a hand (mine or yours)
rests on my ribs and paces
searchingly to the hip and back again.

i am in love with my skeleton
smooth and bare as can be
a hundred years from now
dry and sun bleached.

i am in love with my skeleton
this clanky home rattling along
and creaking up the stairs.

I am in love with my skeleton
even when the pain is great
even with the sharpness
of death that starts on the inside.

i am in love with my skeleton
this blank-faced doll
when she is put to rest
by the sweet child god
whose playtime has ended.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I’m digging up a bunch of old poems, including an entire collection I wrote about two years ago and re-thinking how to present them for sharing. Brace yourself for random poetry attacks.

I also want to redesign this site, but I’m lazy as fuck when it comes to web design, so I make no promises.

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memory, dream and prayer

A slow drive through memory.
The kind of sweet that
shatters in your mouth.
A love like chewing glass,
Every word a chance to choke.
Waking up shaking sand out of my mouth
from grinding your glass all night.

Always misdressed for the occasion,
watching everyone else’s feet,
trying to remember how to walk.
Go where they go, drink what they drink,
smoke what they smoke,
lie what they lie.
Still couldn’t sing the song right.

Pacing the open road to nowhere
and back again.
From your home to mine
more than a stretch of the imagination.
Voice turned inside out with rage
and salted lungs.

Occasionally a face gives me a jolt
of fear and revulsion.
An instantaneous prayer:
no.

One of my favorite ways to write is to put on some strange music and see what it stirs up, so last night, I found this song and produced this poem. I’ve been writing all my life and still don’t know what’s good. I can hear in my mind the critiques my various teachers would give it, and I’m trying to learn to write despite their voices in my head.

 

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the shrine

wpid-img_20140509_111701.jpgAn inspiration wall is forming in my office. Or maybe I should call it a shrine. The portrait of the Dalai Lama I so crudely plastered with stickers is now flanked by Post-it notes bearing abandoned lines of poetry that I kept because I think they’re pretty even if they don’t seem to belong anywhere. Above the portrait is a photo of me with my sister and one brother on our way to the only Mardi Gras ball we ever attended. The people-watching was great that night — a veritable zoo of our childhood friends dressed to the nines and drunk as hell. Each of us in the picture embodies something I want to bring to my writing. Katie stirs up trouble but gets away with it because she’s cute. John is the stone cold badass who sees through all bullshit and thinks you should too. And then there’s me, the sassy one who can’t keep her mouth shut. That’s why I get to be narrator. And finally there are the bunny ears. No big meaning there. Just for fun.

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What I’m Reading: Ada by Gertrude Stein

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Ada
by Gertrude Stein

Purchased at Third Eye Comics in Annapolis, MD.
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I don’t want to ruin it by trying to tell you about it.

I think it’s about finding a way to love and be happy. The writing is hypnotic, and Stein’s sparse language points out just how much we don’t have to say. Every time a character says nothing, they say everything.
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The artwork throughout is beautiful, but I want you to see that for yourself.

 

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