Sunday, June 18, 2017

Microdream: Laundromat

In the laundromat
People fold glimpses of their lives
On top of industrial shelves
Before placing them neatly
Back into unstacked baskets

Washers bend and buzz and splash
Dryers heave and moan with labored heat
As boxers, briefs, bras and other unmentionables
Are churned within the stomachs of steel

Intimacy is manufactured and digested here

I stare as the cyclical melodrama of my own dryer plays out
Thrown back and forth for the duration of the longest 20 minutes
I have ever lived

And I am struck with a sense of recognition, deja vu
I have seen this cycle played out before

Articles of color tossed about
By forces outside of our control

Monday, May 29, 2017

Gentle Arts

Open laptop Open
Google search engine
Google Instant

Is drowning
A quick death

Is drowning or burning worse?

I recall a memory that burns like wine
A past lover warms my hand with his, while we sit
on a city bus Stranger's stares burn like halogen lamps
We are hypervisible in their gaze By virtue of experience
 I am more well-versed in the art of being seen
He fidgets nervously like he needs his body to speak

But the dead cannot speak
And our social death is activated
By negative space between the past's compensation
And the present's intensity
My body melts into salt
and water I submerge him in my gentle sea
As we flicker outside of space and time

Our bodies propel like jellyfish: temporal
Transulecent shapes at once distinct and indistinguishable
From the surrounding marine
We have inverted the gentle art of being seen
We have invented the gentle art of being hidden

Do you understand the violence it took to become this gentle?

In a moment of joy I gasp at this new means of survival
And forget my shape and revert back to a body
a pillar of salt with Water filled
and stomach
 a whirlpool of bile

Internal and external pressures equalize And collaborate
on the graceful execution of my demise
Water and air mix with the earth of my bone
 to seal my fate I spasm in reflexive protest at my aquatic death
In a moment of subemersive clarity I remember how many times
I have died before and been reborn
Every instance of life and death and life an death stacks on top
Of each other like Russian dolls of consciousness

The violent sea is now a gentle womb
And I am once again flowing into the shock of life

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Mandela Effect

Three poets are riding in a clown car
We speak in alternating tones
Our voices swimming
In the amniotic flow
Of the moonlit highway

Topics range from punk to poetry
To astrology to the Mandela Effect:

A collective mis-remembering of details that conjures up alternate memories
In certain spaces between worlds you can glimpse the birth of these adjacent truths

The highway at 3AM is one of these
Interstitial gaps in reality

Behind us a siren calls
And our world flashes
Into a kaleidoscope
Of sapphire light

In one world this is a cop car
In another world this is an earthbound constellation
Of shooting stars come to perch atop our gravity
A being clad in monochrome steps out of the car

In one world he is a police officer
In another world he is an extrajudicial bounty hunter
He asks one poet if he knows why he is being pulled over

I can almost see the words "respect" and "nonthreatening" and "compliance" flash
Across his pale face as he answers
The other poets sit still like lumps of coal
Buried deep in the earth

We are blending into the night
We have done this many times before
Holding our breaths to slow the pulse
Of our black hearts

He cannot see us...or he chooses not to...

I can glimpse another world opening
As the officer walks back to his car
To process the "license and registration"

In this world I am in the driver's seat
In this world I am pulled out of the car
And pressed into the asphalt like I belong there
The words "resist" and "noncompliance" and "oxgyen" flash
Across my darkened face

I am brought back to the world that is

The officer comes back to the driver's seat
That I am not in and tells my friend -- the poet
To be more careful

He walks away
Me ant the other poet release our breaths
In gasps of air

We have melted back into the world that is

In this world we return to the amniotic flow of the moonlight highway
In another world our blood flows like my grandma's tears
My breath is gone
I cannot breathe

Monday, January 23, 2017

Black Teenager

I see you looking at me
From a distance
As far away
As 10 years ago

You look at me like
I'm about to give you
All the easy answers
To all the hard questions you've been living


"When is the money going to run out?"
"Will I ever fall in love
"Will my skin ever stop feeling like a curse?"
"Will I ever meet God again. If I do will He love me?"

More importantly -- will  I let him??

Like an oracle
I take 10 years of your time as an offering
Then answer you in riddles
I say things like the answers you're looking for
Can't be found or given
You can only live them.

The money will never run out because your family
Can't bear to say no to their firstborn blood
And sometimes that will comfort you
Most times it will eat you alive.

You will fall in love and have your heartbroken
So thoroughly that all the love you thought
You didn't have will spill out of you in a red tide
Onto a dirty mattress in a small, 2-bedroom house
you are trapped inside

You will dress that wound
In your Sunday best
Walking with your head held high
Not cause of your pride
But cause you're afraid to look down
And just like that
Just like a curse manifesting in the moonlight

God will peer through your window
Ask you where you've been hiding this whole time
And you will say
In this skin so dark you couldn't see me in broad daylight

And he will laugh
The sound of God laughing is you waking up at 6:00am
When three hours earlier you couldn't even imagine still being here

You'll ask him where's been this whole time
And he'll ask if you'd like for him to take you there
And you'll say yes
When you arrive you will see the pearls and know where you are
Realize you were never too concerned with meeting God again
You just wanted to know where he live
To see where he wakes up at 6AM
You will call it heaven -- a place where you can love all the people you couldn't on Earth
And you will call it good.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Microculture: Knot

Comb your fingers
Through the threads
Of your history
Pull the fibers apart
Of every knot within
Look inside
The stitches of memory:

Recall every moment when
Instead of being a heart-shaped box
You chose to be a garden tool

Recall every moment when
Instead of being loved
You chose to be useful

Trying to gain unconditional love
With conditional behavior

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Microculture: Dysphoria

1. What comes first?

A. The right place?
B.The right time?
C. The right body?

2. How many times can you keep lifting weights until the weight of feeling like your body is too heavy to lift subsides?

A. 3 months ago?
B. By New Years?
C. In another lifetime?

3. If, by your choice, you could create a t-shirt of encouraging phrases friends and family offer you -- what would it say?

A. Keep up the good work!
B. You seem like you have a lot more energy lately!
C. 3 months ago, you were the smallest you've ever been.

To be a body is to be:

A. A mirror
B. A marble
C. Both
D. Everything, all at once.

Microculture: Ritual

Once again
You in bed
Covered in sheets as
Pale as the face of the moon
Choked in cold light
Arms wrapped so tight around your chest
That your hands can almost hold each other
Behind your back
Like a snake coiled so tight
With its own tail in its mouth
To form a seal rich with magic
For this nightly ritual

What are you holding in?
Who are you keeping out?