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.

19 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

10 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.

14 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

07 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

01 June 2015

Mariana II

it's useless, trying:
every hour slips by cold as a fish
slippery as a hagfish
burrowing into the belly
of a whale.
let it be known that i have only
resisted this darkness
insofar as darkness has resisted
except it isn't only darkness.
it is the deep pressure of the sea floor
it is the crush of a thousand atmospheres
it is the silent, unyielding flow of brine
and picked-clean bones settling in silt
and numbers falling forward
across the face
of a clock.

28 May 2015

knock thrice and fall back

measure out the rest of your life
in ounces and pints--
cups, gallons, CCs, liters--
all of your memories bitter-bitter-sweet
beginnings tasting like endings
endings tasting like rum hot
in the back of the throat and
wadded kleenex and
it takes thirty seconds to shed
a lifetime of cold
hot flashes prickling the skin in waves
leaving you colder than before
and contemplating darker shadows.
sleep is a myth
and dreams, rest, peace, comfort,
all of its fabled trappings:
sirens calling unwitting soldiers to come
bleed themselves dry upon the rocks.
do not succumb to the light
that flashes outside of your window.
it signals helicopters.
it does not even know that you exist.

04 May 2015


there is nothing i can say
     that hasnt already been said

there is nothing i can do
     to silence voices in my head

so i lean back on the anger
     of deflection and cliche

hold back hot tears and

(for the sake of rhyming) pray

...to no one in particular,
     no god, goddess, soul, or spirit

even my own reflection seems
     too ill-disposed to hear it

ive been cornered--captured--caged
    insulted--made so small

i suppose it is a wonder i have
     words left in me at all

letting go is hard
     holding on is harder still

warmth seeps thru to my fingertips.

ive naught but time
(and hope)



19 March 2015

theory of mind


hulking skyscrapers leer at each other in the glinting sunlight
filled to the brim with an exquisite unhappiness, resignation,
muddling complacency...
sometimes I need this concrete-block-built biodome
and sometimes I can't handle it at all.
I am a poet
but I am told it is against my nature.
There are many reasons given.
I am of two minds about it:
it is true that I do not see what other people see--
but, then again, I see what other people do not see.
like when my eye catches on the red light
clinging like a tick to a brick smokestack in the distance
framed by muddy damp gray groaning sky
and the voices, the silences, in the room that my body inhabits
tumble over each other, splintering against my rocky countenance;
ossified society (ancient structures draped in the elaborate masks
that people wear, by choice or otherwise, scaffolded by
a strange belief in some grand and inscrutable ideal)
finds me unbearable and insubordinate.
meanwhile i find myself trying to decide
what the red light is for and
what it means


e e cummings ripped a hole
in the space-time continuum
because i didn't like his poetry.
i didn't say anything to him about it.
it would have been impolite
to make a scene, and besides
the damage had already been done


between ragged glimpses of hours torn to shreds
and flapping in the air

i can hear something, but i cannot make it out.
i feel it in the fibers of my muscles.

this silence-emptied cache of dreams
holds secrets, inopportunities, for the listening ear:

so close to superstition and empty graces,
seated at our table when we're not there.

i cannot remember dropping off to sleep without
the cliff, the painful drop and shatter at the end.

it's time to root my teeth, to fortify my skull;
replace my eyes when i awaken.

to shout into darkness, make it hear me--
sit and wonder while i exhale my old inflections

Words are my Weapon, and my Wound,
and they are all i've ever had.


cast-iron pall on a stony bitter night.
the same vagaries resurfacing. as always.
feel your way around it: i cannot help you from here
my tongue, my teeth, are burning;
my throat is filled with flames.
if i were a dragon, this would be reasonable,
but i am not. make of it what you will.
inspiration curls around my ears,
spreads over my skin like blood
leaking from an outstretched, accidental proto-scar.
whether i heed its call, or not,
whether i breathe this fire, or not,
sometimes i see the Great Gears turning
(or, rather, imagine that i see them, as they are
metaphorical in nature)
and i know that i know nothing
yet i feel that i feel everything.
and the difference between knowing and feeling,
between feeling and knowing,
is the difference between the keening cry
of heedlessness 
and the texture of formality.

keep it down

keep your head down
they said,
and it will all blow over.

keep your voice down
they said,
we can hear you just fine.

keep your eyes down
they said,
for we are your superiors,
and to look us in the eye would be an insult.

so I keep my head down,
and I keep my voice down,
and I keep my eyes down,
like they said to.

and all I can see is the ground--
and my shoes.
All that I can see are my shoes,
and the ground,
and I cannot see anything

14 March 2015


i wore the same bra for six days
because they gave it to me
and it fit
and i was captive there
and had no choice

what little i remember:
harsh light
thin sheets
blue clothes like
crackling paper
clinging to the new arrivals
with static electricity
and fear

i escaped that place
through a pharmaceutical fog
playing the game just so
nodding along to every word
they said
and pretending
that i wasn't trapped

the corners of these buildings cut
into my consciousness
gnarled fingers rising up
from cigarette-strewn streets
to scrape the sky
and i
am still wearing the bra that
they gave me
and all the labels that
they gave me
and the world seems

03 March 2015

sol 3

the gods' leftover snow falls stubbornly
from tumultuous sky
frosting sour mud left lingering in gutters
studding my black coat in little white balls and
standing here at this bus stop in the cold
i am an alien observer of this society
lost and confused as human organisms
ebb and flow in mysterious tides...
i may look like one of you but
i am not one of you and
i never have been or
(so it seems) never will be.

well, then.

16 February 2015

Myst-inspired poetry

a fanart picture of my sloth-self sitting in the Channelwood age

I've been re-playing Myst recently (the realtime 3D version, realMYST, from 2000, to be exact). There is nothing more calming, to me, than entering these worlds, these fantastical places, and losing myself in them for a time. I am moving on to Riven soon, then Exile, then Revelation...

These works inspire me. I've been making a bit of fanart, using screenshots from the game. I've been writing fanfiction as well. And a bit of poetry, which I'd like to share:



water over a broken boat
i am on a dock
gull sound, but no humanity.
My head, my body, feels manipulated,
i see blue skies
as if squeezed into a small, small space
and drawn out again
into the salty air.
The wood beneath me is soft with age.
where am i?
Metal mountain, marble library. Secrets.
Birds chirp in high pine branches.
It is a small island.
It is not mine.
it was the book...



rain lashes against my shivering form
i did not ask for this
lighting chars the stormy sky in great
white streaks
burning clouds to purple ash
to be scattered on hurricane winds.
this world has drowned...
the rock is sharp and inhospitable.
Only down below the decks and stones
through dripping tunnels newly drained
can I find some small comfort and warmth
in someone else's bed.
i am alone
in glass-walled, underwater chambers
I observe sea creatures, sinuous, strange,
that I know I could not find anywhere on Earth
and it finally
sinks in
i am very far from home



the sea engulfs this place
i dare not fall in
this metal fortress does not belong
to this desolate
yet still it stands, rusting, creaking,
impenetrable by all
but a single person walking, carefully,
along a catwalk stretched out
over deep, unsounded waters.
what were they afraid of?
I do not trust the men
who saw fit to build their throne rooms here,
fill them with weapons and gold
and stare out over the sea
like conquering kings.
i will not stay long
The fortress spins along its aged track
great, rusted gears grinding against
each other, at my request.
I gather only what I need
and go.



white mists swathe a barren landscape
carved out by gentle waters, long ago.
i can barely see
someone has built stairways, here and there
to smooth out rough terrain
and show which way to go.
the sky changes color: brilliant orange, pink,
purple, blue; each hour something new,
absorbed into the mists and coloring the age.
When nighttime falls, the darkness is complete.
I huddle beneath a single bulb, which throws
a circle of light before a brick facade,
and wait till morning.
time means nothing to me anymore
I have learned to pay attention:
this place is filled with sound.
I harness it to my own advantage.
Deep beneath the earth, I use what I have learned
to navigate my way back from whence I came.


amphibian chorus swells
to fill this strange and muggy air.
boardwalks maze among the ragged trunks
standing straight out of brackish water,
roots drowned, but still standing
trees lift a village up above the calm
and endless sea.
I climb.
Even as high above the water as I am
in this relentless wind,
swaying on rope bridges and
exploring gutted, empty dwellings,
utterly alone among
the left-behind lives of people
I will never know...
Even so, I've found a place
to sleep
and dream of what all this means



air, brittle with cold,
feathers into snow
and hardens into icy crust upon the rock.
a mosaic of rock and ice and sea and rusted
supports this metal platform.
The melancholy cry of some great sea creature
unseen but for a sliver of greenish back
sliding through dark waters
lends this place a somber air.
Longing for heat, drawn to it,
I defrost the simple dwelling here;
through foggy tunnels, into the mountain,
I find a lost laboratory
and glimpse, through a window of crystal,
what is in store for me

06 January 2015

unleash the kraken

it's Monday night

the moon hangs above me in four pieces, small and fragile in the orange-black sky

muffled laughter seeps thru the ringing in my ears

I'm okay and I'm dying in the same breath.

I can't sleep

every smell and taste is too strong, and I flinch from them, and my hunger grows with each passing hour. time means little to me now. the world presses down on me like a million stones in avalanche

and I

lay down

and look up at the quadrupled moon

and I wonder how long this life will last