Sunday, July 3, 2016

I am not Orlando



I’m a lot of things survivor
one bad turna luck from hungry
I’m sick and low class and as queer
as it comes shocked and I’m grieving

but I am not Orlando

colonization did not destroy my homeland
demonize my heart
leave me lookin for sanctuary
on a dazzling dance floor of family rhythms and tongues
leave my open joy a target

and yeah,  
I started hitting the bars at 15
twirling under lights or tucked up in back corner darkness
riding out something horrible in the humid n heaving
safety of the club

but whiteness took me takes me home safer than most
handed me the power of citizenship at birth

hell, even in the welfare line I’ve got “potential”

and my fellow white trans and queer folk
while we mire in rainbow slick pools of grief and privilege
let’s remember this
white supremacy is designed to strip us of depth and meaning
leave us empty save for that unspilled lavender blood
eager for narratives that simulate connection

since privilege only disconnects

whiteness always harvests trauma

serves it up with heightened security
rainbow cops
gay friendly prison TV shows
and how quickly all the queer and trans black and brown ghosts
are woven seamlessly into grant deadlines and no fly lists
right along side our most tender truest bleeding hearts

and I’m a lotta things,
the colonizers daughter,
a sick and useless casualty of capitalism,
a bottom feeder
and I know death and I know loss
but whiteness gets me through it safer than most
less a target and not a ghost

so my fellow white queers
lets not harvest lets not honeymoon
and call it equality
lets not settle down on top of black, brown n indigenous lives and consume
lets not whitewash this trauma and hand it to profit
lets not whitewash 500 years of resistance

lets not call the cops

let’s check our legacies
shift our resistance to deep foundational change
let’s call each other over
        call each other in

cuz while we are a lot of things all tender,
fucked up and beautiful

we are not Orlando






























































































Thursday, March 10, 2016

when heartbreak


puts your back out pulls 
an endless supply of ocean from your eyes
and hot water makes you howl and moan
makes you take inventory counting bills
in every hidden envelope
means you lie flat on hot then cold turned carefully 
so some of that shit’s gonna be ok sunshine
soaks the soles of your feet
when ghost cats purr in your lap
when time drowns in shock
and love is root stock, terpenes and salt

heartbreak rolls stone
exposes grief curling up shocked at the sudden light

decocts tannins and flowers with thorns
boundaryless body pain that stops you
means nothing at all
but steep and wait
stroke ghosts
don't drown






Sunday, January 10, 2016

watercolor.
image: text reads "immigrants and refugees welcome here" on a light orange background with a large pink wild rose in the center and smaller dark green leaves of a rose bush with buds and rose hips framing the text.

grief is a beast


a hard lover

smoke

that leaves
debris lodged
unseen and dangerous

inside

a deep calm body
of grey water
grief
is bodies becoming
battleground
ghosts
becoming
only hearts
only blue suffocated blood

circulating through us just lookin for holes

grief is a hole

vacates
whenever

returns
whenever


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

just when you think femme is everything, it becomes more

this outta me in the brilliant Hard Femme Poetics class I'm taking with Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha... xoxoxox



femme has already bloomed
boldly to the sun
finds rest in the wilt
knowledge in decomposing
desire fermenting the air
beneath apple trees
fruit all over the ground
teeming
stumbling over ripe seed
dropped
toxic, reeking and gorgeous
bees gather just above the loam
hum a thick chorus of devotion

femme moves my tongue
roams my mouth habitually counting teeth
pushing up against them
checking their grip
finds rest in the sum of parts

femme counts teeth like loose change
blooms at moonrise
ripens in the dappled light
on soft ground
femme
swallows whole.






Tuesday, July 21, 2015

years of desire


in the dark of your mouth
where the words come
up to tell me
Hold very still
Show me
how good you can be


Thursday, June 4, 2015

sap rising

-->
cottonwood comes slowly
to green
first the buds
swell beaded with golden
healing resin
then catkins
bursting tassles of femme
birthdays
laughter
and parades of gay
then the leaves
bright lime unfolding
lace fans of vitality into a waxy deep green
that reflects sun on shimmering rivers
then the hearts rustle the hustle of being alive
a money tree shakes with stars

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

the balm


is in the foggy river valley
the budding cottonwoods 
teeming with bird song
the train rolling through

Monday, December 15, 2014

love poem to depression

 

hold
me in your deep
dirty pockets
smell like home
help me once again slip
into that threadbare shirt
that’s worn itself down on my stubborn frame

cloak
my thoughts till they curve
beneath the weight of all that
insistent one on one
reliable
if you’re anything at all
but vapor or an occasional smoke
occasional pen in hand

on occasion
I make a list of things to do
then as I cross them off  you’re roused
to reach for me
but my poems
they make you slow smile
sit back
and wait

it’s a chemical love story
we are unspoken tracks in the flesh
we are bloom and wilt and bloom again
til death do us part into stars
complete
a dirty pocket dweller
a high beam burning up
a fleeting springtime bloom
of this won’t last

there’s nothing to fix.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

i like to paint trees! this is watercolor.
image: a watercolor painting of a leafless tree, mostly a view of the trunk, offcenter, with a few long slender branches spreading out parallel to the ground. tree is ribbons of orange red and brown, the sky is ribbons of bright blue.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

when dogs


dream and their feet paddle and their lips twitch and snarl
they are fighting chasing hunting playing
I dream about pretty young men wanting me
wake heart racing
chasing youth
I dream about my animals
wake crying out
I dream about home
I know board feet   I know rafters

dogs dream like water carving a desired path
play  fight  chase

Sunday, November 17, 2013

-->
after the first hard freeze everything rattles
what was flowers and swishing green is now stiff and seedless
shades of brown and yellow
rattling in a wind that says to me
gather some around you
stash some elsewhere
hammer tight the roof nails

burn something.

Nesting Doll




Some days I’m still her
she is inside me like a nesting doll

some days I split open
and there she is

still that crass and skinny cast off
a pre teen beauty queen
learning to work
in a halter top mini- skirt
and leg warmers
swaying and twirling her way around the skate rink
to Journey
Rick James
Joan Jett
lovin rock n roll in her glitter stained roller skates
hair feathered roach clips
and teased lips
red and her high heels waiting in the rental locker
lights swirling
she’s thinking
 I’ve got this
 I'm ok, ya know?
 just ok.
 the lights will save me
 the movement will save me
 I'm worth saving
 a bigger me will grow
 up and around this mess like armour
and having stayed alive til puberty
having carried it all
like a bag of knives
this girl will get to rest
she’ll get to nest.










                                                                                                                                                                                              

Monday, November 4, 2013

gintaras


the day the moon swallowed the sun
and the clocks went back
the light
was amber when I woke

there was mist and rainbow

I wonder if I’ve paid enough attention to the dead
are their stories in me
had I listened close 
before they began their journey 
on the back of the moon
with a plan to have the sun

for breakfast

I make toast and tea
think of my immigrant father
and the war trauma he carried in his young heart
when he left
think of  the women
edna
gladys
mary
nellie
and so many more
enduring great lake winters
with Baltic sea air in their lungs
factories, shops and children bearing
lithuanian memories
with nursing home endings

closing their eyes and seeing the amber light
resin that endures and adorns
dreams.