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

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


that leaves
debris lodged
unseen and dangerous


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

circulating through us just lookin for holes

grief is a hole



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
stumbling over ripe seed
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
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
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


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

my thoughts till they curve
beneath the weight of all that
insistent one on one
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
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


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
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

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Body Check


I owned 3 wigs in high school.
3 wigs and a pony tail extension.

Wig shops downtown were always a mystery from the sidewalk.
The interior always some variety of mustard yellow, black, silver
and heavy with mirrors.
The endless rows of styrofoam heads.
The sweet chemical smell of beauty and the stale bitter smell of endless cigarettes.
Places where aging, poverty, illness, self-love and adornment converged.

Lucky for me I was naturally flamboyant
I loved all the big divas.
show tunes and the stage.
Old wing tip shoes, paten leather heels and men’s suit coats,
deep red lipstick, liquid eyeliner, leopard print.
So when my hair began to fall out
the wigs
they came as an easy solution to hide the illness.

It’s really shitty to be 16 and have your hair fall out. 
Always on the out looking in
balding was too much.
It gave me away, screamed sick
Screamed lost cause
too much.
too loudly.

But the wigs
the outfits that went with each wig
it was all day theater.
The art of passing .
Smoke and mirrors razzle-dazzle.
Ever crafty and resourceful
I reinvented my sick ass into something audacious
The illusion of  everything is just fine 
spun by a sick and scrambling queer.


Starving not cutting

which I tried but it didn’t work for me
like the slower blade of wasting

Since I was little
I’ve swallowed trauma
It lives in my belly
A time-release poison
Designed to kill
self love
Feeds me restriction feeds me self destruct
It  is why
despite being brilliant at everything I’ve taken up
I lose it
like milk through my fingers

I carve out people like portions of food

Restrict myself right outta living

Perpetuate the drought

The not quite suicide of hunger
The intricate dance with poverty and the necessity to eat less
fits neatly into success
lives on the lean edge of bone
right up under the skin
where the ends meet only to cut themselves free

The control I need
when money is outta my hands
Milk through my
cold finger hands
Bone first hands
On ribs for security hands
tenuous will to live
put back the food
Save it for the rain
that doesn’t come.


my body
is a hook

20 years away from bulimic
but anorexic hangs
on my back
drapes around me a thread bare coat

my gut
if I could
if I’m honest
I’d empty it
like a  bowl
not for holding anything
purely decorative
and empty
I’m hard wired for that next to the bone feeling
having a handle on it all

a hook to hang my baggage on

my body
a living breathing argument

always the chatter in the background of my days
always worried if there’s food to eat
always worried if I will eat it
always worried if what I chew will actually be swallowed
if what I put in it will really digest
and if what I put in it will come out

if it will all come out

for a while after I stopped purging
I couldn’t bend over
without the contents of my stomach
automatically rushing up to my throat

with perspective
I have recovered

but still I waste

I’m hooked
hung up
hunger is handled
like a bank account
like an almost emptied
of water and