Regular Poem: Memo

20 Mar

To: You, a Person I Hardly Know Yet Delight in

From: Me, a Person Who Is Bad at Things

CC: The Part of My Brain That Weighs the Costs and Benefits of Social Interactions and Analyzes Hasty Decisions about Same Later When the Exciting but Stupifying Rush of Having a Stimulating Conversation Has Dissipated

Re: You and Me

Compose Email

Good evening,

is just a word of caution and apology
to inform you–
perhaps I’m
calling your attention to this for the first time
or perhaps I’m
something you’ve secretly suspected–

that I bribe myself

with people,

and you are

one of the unfortunate few
my attentions
have tripped over and subsequently
fallen on top of.

(I sincerely hope
my attentions’ knee hasn’t connected with
your windpipe in the
ungraceful process.)

Don’t be alarmed
I bound toward you,
propelled bodily
by my rather frighteningly
powerful urge to say things to you
and have you
say things to me.

I will be unable to stop
the momentum this energy source
as it is
an unstable energy,
one spark away
from catastrophe.

Fission is funny
that way.

We collide,
and I split,
and part of me is
carrying on with you–
probably idiotically, mimicking
human discourse in a verisimilitude
just a hair’s breadth
(a proton’s mass)
away from
your thinking me either an advanced robot
crazy person–

and part of me
is just burning
or collapsing
or dividing further
into parts that might
reanalyze this interaction
at 2am
until I fantasize about places
to wear my tuxedo
enough to go back to sleep.

In summary,
I was weird with you,
I am weird with you,
I will be weird with you,


know that
I know that

and that
I would certainly
change that
if I had the chemical, physical,
to do so
instead of just
being weird
and wishing later I hadn’t.

Thanks in advance,


Regular Poem: Thursday and Friday Take Too Long

2 Mar

by the time
slumps into existence
emerges from the shadows
its fangs poorly concealed in the full moon light
strikes a match and lets it burn between its fingers
so long as to make you
beg for it to
light its cigarette already and be done with it
but friday smirks and waits
another millisecond
just to show you
you’ve been waiting
and it will make you wait

yes by the time
slips an icy hand
around your wrist
and urges you along a dark alley

i’m not fit for the public
too wound up
too loud
too rough
too overstimulated
too understimulated
too lonely
too much

and i just explode into the day
the weekly supernova i am doesn’t
have the patience for shadows
or subtlty
and i can feel the vibrations

behind my eyeballs mostly
but also others’ vibrations
their fight or flight or freeze responses triggered
(i expect and suspect
different responses than i get

i expect
i suspect disdain incredulity

i don’t know
who am i to them
when my face is not in their face
and i’m too
in the moment
to contemplate
until much later
when i second guess all the crazy stuff
that was flung into the interstellar medium)

and everyone laughs with me
cackling unhinged
maybe everyone explodes into friday
we’re all our own massive stars
just itching and pulsating
for our chance to
contribute to the creation of new stars
with our dramatic demise

i don’t write poetry because
i particularly enjoy it
i write poetry because
i don’t

keep a diary
see friends
practice good coping strategies

i write poetry to inflict things on myself
to pick scabs
to poke bruises and ask where’d that come from

fridays are good for that sort of thing
starting with a bang ending with a whimper
all the modernist self-loathing you could ask for
but dressed up for 20gr8teen
in clothes bought from a dying chain store
and cheap lipstick

i shut down the fantasies
i shut down the plans
i shut down
restart me monday

but that will be fuzzy
like an old tv that has to warm up
its cathode ray tube
or like searching through static
on a radio

i hum and squeak
and then explode

Regular Poem: Blessings, Curses

1 Mar

part 1: blessings

if i go down for arson
ha ha
i laugh so i don’t

if i go down for arson
start closer to the beginning
(there is no beginning
only in medias res
[present perfect progressive
{have been feeling nuts to the max}]
only now now now
[simple present
{am tapped out}]–

if i’m suspected of arson
(you can imagine the details of the arson on your own time)

she told me to ditch my car
get a wig
go on the lam
contact her with my new address
when i’m settled into my new identity
–she hopes
somewhere warm and pretty–

and she’s the best person i know

if i go down for arson

they promised
they’d set me up with money for the commissary
so i wouldn’t have to live
without lipstick


i broke our coffee pot
i was half turned
talking laughing
and it slipped to the floor
and i thought for a moment
it might bounce
bounce right back up to the counter
and the instant it shattered
they were
googling a new one

twenty minutes later
we had a brand new coffee maker

i’m the only one
who even drinks coffee

part 2: curses

i love everything

i’ve never met
a vegetable
that wasn’t edible
on some level

and i’m known for that

i’m the girl
who loves
peppers and beets and just any
fresh thing

what’d you have for lunch
someone asks as i’m flossing my teeth afterward
steak and tomatoes
trout and turnips

yes a thousand times yes

but really it’s chicken and sugar snap peas and it was delicious
but the sentiment is the same

what’d you do last night
no one even asks
they know i’ll tell unprompted
british lady detective show online shopping
bible study heavy bag workout
hammock nap research about serial killers
elaborate fantasy involving my tuxedo review of an audiobook


i hate everything

i take a lap
do ten push ups

but they’re just as ignorant
and i’m just as
nuts to the max

i have
all the energy
no energy

i can
[feminist rant]
but i can’t
anything else

part 3: a blessing and a curse

to be
the person who loves everything
is to be
the person who hates everything


it’s even stupid to me

and yet here we are
googling where
to send flowers
to the unfashionable psychiatrist
i’m ridiculously
smitten with

and everyone knows

and there it is

everyone knows parts of it
and no one knows all of it

just how much i love everything
just how much i hate everything

they’ve got
their own open secrets

and i’ve already paid for the flowers

Regular Poem: stupid

17 Feb

i’m not a stupid woman
but i do things stupidly
i make bad pancakes
and worse decisions
take stupid routes to stupid places

i’m not a stupid woman
i just buy stupid things
money leaps from my hands
i’m a burning building
and money is the people trapped
in the penthouse
choosing to end it quickly

i’m not a stupid woman
i just play one on tv
the pilot was filmed
is perpetually being filmed
and has yet been picked up
by a network
the test audience didn’t get it
it read too much like a
psychological experiment
not enough like a
compelling narrative

i’m not a stupid woman
but i could’ve fooled you
i could’ve fooled me
but at least
i don’t tell myself
the same kinds of lies

Regular Poem: Dusty Rose Isn’t Dramatic Enough

31 Jan

i’m a woman of
incidental carbohydrates
and accidental reputations
the same face but a thousand
each as genuinely lovely
yet disingenuous
as the fake diamonds
weighing down a butterfly brooch’s
wiry wings
frozen in a tableau of false flight
attached to a cheap but well-groomed lapel
pretending to be
alive and glamorous

rage is an identity
as much as emotion
it’s much easier
to wear it
like lipstick
be known for it
coral garden
is my favorite shade currently
and it’s just the flush of pink
my cheeks go
when i’m on an ultimately nonthreatening and restrained

it’s me
that’s the me
i am
known to be

it’s much easier to wear that
than to access the visceral
live the visceral
wipe off the coral garden to reveal
the gaping bloody maw beneath

it’s not a fun rage
satisfied with flipping hypothetical tables
burning down hypothetical buildings
laughing with crazy fury as someone punches me in the teeth
and i shake the sweat from my hair and grin back and hiss
try it harder coward
even as i’m shifting my weight for a counterattack

it’s not a fun crazy rage
just mad relentless recklessness
such an agreeable portrait of me
strong and ready and unhinged and smiling into the sun as
my wings melt but i flap obstinately anyway

it’s a sane rage tinged with
melancholy and stagnation
that gets so tedious so fast
that to preserve my own life
twists itself into maudlin
self-loathing and then

turn it off
put it on
take it out
in increments
ration it
dump it
a steady stream of it
is poisonous
i’ve spent the last few years
building up an immunity

coral garden
topical rant
comically kicks a chair over
rights self and continues day

it’s me
that’s the me
i am
known to be

bare skin
cyclical intrusive thoughts
critically analyzes feelings
rights self and continues day

it’s me
that’s the me
i am
to myself

Regular Poem: Blue Moon

30 Jan

is a full moon
a blue moon
a blood moon
a supermoon
a moon a moon
the same and different
the sane and insane
gertrude stein could do it better

i dress for you
and you don’t know
or maybe you do
surely you might

surely you might
but i don’t spend my time
thinking about that
i’m too selfish
or not selfish enough

i dress for you
a different you
than the first you
pronouns are wonky and ambiguous
that way
you inspire me
and i identify with you
and i want to touch you

oh shit that’s both yous
but different ways

first you
it’s physical chemical pheromonal
insinctual obsessive
ridiculous illogical
corner you
in the butterfly house at the botanical gardens
seduce you seduce you
incite you entice you

second you
it’s metaphysical intellectual
instinctual obsessive
corner you
tell you tell you

your mind to my mind my mind to your mind

what could i learn from that
what would i not want to learn from that
caressing your brain
a third you

third you
if my mind and your mind
would we hate each other
surely you might
hate me
i could never hate you
you’d try not to hate me
save me
from myself

the three yous
are the maiden mother crone
but i can’t sort them
the three yous
are the different same full moons
and i can’t sort them

i can’t sort them
i can’t sort
at all anymore

i know
there is



tomorrow is a full moon

Regular Poem: The GCBRO Extends Its Deepest Sympathies

14 Dec

don’t worry

i don’t need
anybody to love me
or a baby to scold
or a job that treats me like a human
or even just an alcoholic old gruff racist sentimental dad to hang out with and be perpetually frustrated by

i just need
some cool ass guns
and a little bourbon

i don’t need peace of mind
or anything better to do

just full garages
and a little petty cash

just a hastily bought tuxedo
and second hand memories
and a ton of fantasies
about being a completely different person

just anger and grief
and ghosts and guilt

don’t worry



how do you like your new roommates?

you thought it was just going to be you
and that piano

fat chance, sweetheart

when you’re with a woman such as i
you’ve got to learn to expect these things
roll with the blind lurching punches
ready to jump up and punch back
or just take it
i usually just take it
old iron jaw
they call me
old bozo the clown bop bag


don’t worry

i’m definitely not
talking to my tuxedo again

don’t worry

my tuxedo that i did not name babe
is not
the closest thing
i’ve had to a romantic relationship
in years


we really did
bury him in a cigar box
i thought it had been a joke
when i had suggested it for myself

but then there it was
so perfect

his last words were

and one more thing

spoiler alert
there wasn’t
one more thing

there were eight rounds of cpr
and then a few hours of surgery
and then many hours of tremors and seizures

until he quietly gave up the ghost
none of us there to see it

it’s like
he wanted me to see it
and no one else
i should’ve told them to stop the cpr
he was probably mad at me for that
and that whole day and a half after
was a guilt trip

one time when i was a kid
i got in a fight at school
and his punishment for me
was a two week grounding
from all my favorite stuff
and i thought it was bullshit
because that kid i smacked
deserved it
and i’ve always been great
at justifying my poor decisions

and anyway
i talked him into
an appeal

he got a bunch of his cop friends together
to be a review board
we both presented our cases
they sided with me
and my sentence was reduced to time served
plus like three days

it was very us
they call it these days
so extra

he was the most extra
and i guess i’m my father’s daughter

and hanging on to the barest definition of life
by the skin of his dentures
to watch me suffer
to watch us all suffer
for 36 hours

seems like a thing he would do


don’t worry

i cut myself opening a condolence card
and then the content of it
was the sweetest one i’d received

but i’m not bleeding anymore

don’t worry

i really am contemplating
using my inheritance
to buy a houseboat
start a new life as someone
who wears a shoulder holster with a .357 magnum in it every day

don’t worry



maybe i’ll take you out tomorrow

maybe i say tomorrow too much

maybe there’s never a today for either of us
just bleary yesterdays and tomorrows that are never
the tomorrows we want them to be


don’t worry

i’ll find someone else
who’ll spend three hours driving around looking for a stupid truck with a matte black diy paint job
and homemade plywood topper

i’ll find someone else
who’ll tour cemeteries with me
get kicked out of casinos and Chinese buffets with me

i’ll find someone else
who’ll accidentally find dead serious bigfoot websites
while searching for the county code book
(counties don’t have codes
they have ordinances)

i’ll find someone else
to confess to
and to have confess to me

i’ll find someone else
who can make me laugh and cry and rage and love and hate and think and think and think

don’t worry

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