Friday, October 19, 2018

ode to a pulse beneath

when she laughed I knew home
calling in falling leaves heavy skies wide hipped denim clad women
she laughed rough stars and all the snark that reclaims our joy
she laughed good dirt
and the secrets to loving through relentless pain
she laughed loud cackling fuck this shit still alive flames and flowers
its been some 15 years but I woke this morning with a night gift
  and I could hear her laughing
I could feel what it gave me
what it dislodged, turned out and lit
and I wept for missing rough unabashed joy in my life
everything is so serious now
counting bones and years like coins
so often alone, all that snarky joy tucked into potting soil
and boxes of ash
I’m casting this poem like spell
I’m calling in a night storm
I’m asking for flames and flowers.


Sunday, October 15, 2017

water sign

what did I inherit from my mother but an animal heart
 and cardboard boxes of flight?
infused w preverbal trauma
unearthed memories of near death
synapses clutched up in knots
vigilance = survival
vigilance= survival
track the predator with disappearing eyes 

I have to remember to unclench my hands
find my heart
my pulse my murky river of blood
full of cortisol and thc
I sink
into a hot bath sometimes 3 times
a day

in between

I study water
it’s memory
it’s capacity to hold and heal

to infuse

I study survival
I study wounds and their open purpose

I can almost remember mine
I can almost remember my mothers
  that narrow bridge from the adrenaline laced womb 
to my own fight or flight

vigilance of an animal heart
where I rewrite history with endless water
and keep the littlest me
safe from heartless carnivores
babies should be clear rivers
babies should not be
boxes built to fill with wounds
decades in storage
carefully opening each one over years
I lay them out in the sun
one by one by one
pour honey into the pain

I’ve inherited instinct
I’ve cultivated dirt and spit and thorn thick
protection spells
should be water
soothing, turbulent, resilient and healing
brilliant open animals

Friday, March 24, 2017

sick femme love liberation incantation

I want to know your pain
hold it up to the light of my own
let them touch
lean linger
love the familiar
bones of honesty
the world hits
hard breaks bruises
and terrifies
delights in our masks of able
while we drown
wears down bone to sea glass
so let’s celebrate our sea glass survival
spill all the broken worn and translucent remains
onto the kitchen table between us and weep salt
in our knowing
no masks

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

negative space

the morning is cloudy
smells like water
and the sky is full of cranes and their cooing
song says
stay warm
move as you must

I need the sky full of cranes to fill the space you are not in
I need soft steady companions
I need purpose
and as the mundane and the routines come slowly back
into focus
I realize they are the remedy
the dirty dishes are there to ground me cover my hands
in warm moving water

the laundry waits for me
in warm moving water
the bath waits for me
to come clean
come back

move as i must
stay warm

I need to fill the spaces you are not in
I need to feed the cat
I need to warm water
for a tea of roses
I need all the roses
I need my lovers soft steady hands to bring my skin back
from following you out to the negative space
that waits for us all

I gave you my softest steadiest hands
cooing to you
as you died

I caught it all in a
small cup of water

I poured it onto rosemary
this morning
beneath the cranes.

-for Agatha


Saturday, October 15, 2016

last call femme incantation

I’m with the witches
and the whores
the seeded queens
the beauty makers

the rusty dragons
and loose change

I’m with risk

and a bad turn

I eat the rich

like any spell casting
pre- internet harlot

I’m in it for the cash crop

I’m with thorns

the stay the fuck off me

the make a wish moon

say come closer
there’s plenty for everyone

I’m with water

and the rusted beauty
she creates
as empires fall
I’m with
the seeded the sashay the unstoppable
rising shining
that teach us love.

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

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, 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.