16 January 2016

Nineteen Sixty Five

Blushing light settles like gauze upon
the worn-smooth floor...
hangs suspended, condensed,
in the soft and foreign air:
many-winged insects
stretched across a raftered sky.
Here sings everything with nothing to lose:
here sings nothing, floorboards and shoes and
learning how to float is never easy
rounded calves picking up
sharp heels,
light caught, felt, held ransom
in necklaces and
rhinestones and
fingernail polish and
striking green eyes.
Youth is no object.
Time savored here is free--
fierce in the lingering twilight
pure and cynical and absolutely
This world belongs to her.
And whether these weary walls
realize it or not,
whether these intricately carved and courted people
realize it or not,
the fight has already been won.
The Swan spreads her wings.

08 January 2016

Excerpt from a Letter to Nan, July 2011

It feels like time just slips away so quickly. All of a sudden it's time to sleep again, and I've hardly done anything. I feel like I live and move in an impossibly viscous liquid, while the rest of the world breezes through air. Time to breathe. But what am I breathing?

23 December 2015

exculcerated swell

for fourteen days the snow lies cold
where it fell
the air sinks and spreads its chill and
I am not afraid
of the voices that keep escaping from this
porous sediment:
testaments and resolutions, too-late
prophecies and
promises of restitutions: and I am both
cold and not-cold,
skin flushed, sweating, pulse erratic
fears abstracted
mind limping, racing into the lingering pall
of broken oaths
arrears and gall and fortis, fortis, fortioris,
eyes down, mind
drawn like a curtain, conscious only of my skin,
hot and prickling,
pinned to my muscles with thin needles, lancets
subdivided scalpels
sore and strained white-hot and autoclaved
and if I watch
more closely, listen to the clear and frosted
wind, I hope to
quickly notice when the world will cease this fatalistic
spin but really I
am holding myself together with cold reason and
cold hunger.
so it is, and as it is my day goes on a little longer.

20 November 2015


the morning passes slowly, like a
kidney stone.
i sit on my bed, drinking tea,
loathe to give up what left-
over warmth clings to this bed,
which isn't a bed so much as
a haphazard pile
of blankets
on the floor.
the sun has, in her in-
scrutable wisdom, chosen not
to come out when she was sup-
posed to--loitering, rather,
demure and thought-
less, wanton, wayward,
lost behind a deep and
haggard cloud.
and i know somewhere in-
side myself: eyelids heavy, muscles
heavy, belly heavy with hot
tea--i know indistinct-
ively that i
was never meant
for mornings.
it is far better for you to call
on me in the after-
if you are looking for
me then, you will find
me lying in bed or
standing in the backyard or
hunched over some-
thing small: something precise and
unusual: something detailed and
curious and

11 November 2015


poured out upon this
thankless ground
the air itself punctured
precisely, in
carefully measured intervals
by shards of silver
when, again,
the world zooms out
tips on its side--feints--faints--falls--
the way it used to when
back when
and then
the sickening silent lurch
and turn into a wild
skid, air cracking like windows
bursting into clingfilm-covered coarse
quartz sand
the very ephemeral air, the one and only air,
solid as a jewel and
twice as sharp.

15 October 2015


down comes the hammer in the center of the town
escape the beat of concrete feet
come tearing up the ground
steel yourself for twenty tons
press into eighty-four
hear your blood escape itself
and fathom sixty more
surrounded by a thousand lights
all piercing bright and clean
close your eyes control your fears
plug into the machine

up comes the signal in the middle of the street
conceal your heart and take apart
each future that you meet
avail yourself of ninety pints
yet drown in thirty-six
feel your own soul devour yourself
belt down the galling mix
filled as you are with guillotine
and wine and tears and bread
close your eyes forget to smile
you cant escape your head

08 June 2015


the sky is a damp and
mealy gray.
the engine of the bus roars,
inescapable and
deafening and
i can barely see out
of the rain-flecked windows.
the city is dark and
slick with almost-ice:
fat white heavy raindrops
congealing in the gutters,
in muddy holes dug by great
groaning yellow-black
anonymous machines,
in droplets on my glasses and
my waterproof.
I know my own mind, my own
soul, and
it is heavy like this
rain. it is cold like this
rain. and
i do not limit myself,
but i am limited