Poem Every Day in July 12: The Truth Comes Out


The women in Romantic paintings
are not always dainty. I admire Truth,

who pushes against beauty––
anger in the hoods of her eyes,

honesty in the folds of her skin
and fat as she climbs.

No mascara could glamorize
her whip’s brittle, broomy eyelashes;

her breasts fall so that her clavicle
can be fully confrontational;

her fingers are designed to propel,
not to nurture. We’d all do well

to meet her sunken gaze, to hear
the black voice that booms

from stone to stone, and to know
that the naked creases of her flesh

are a warning.

Snail: A Poem


original photo of a real slug that i befriended (it's not a snail but it's close enough)tiny Van Gogh, let my hand
be canvas for your contrail
craftsmanship, teach me to become
a paintbrush, to live again
after they throw salt, i’ll tuck
my eyes away––even grandma
uses eggshells to kill, lets us
die in the kitchen, but
i swear they only
call us “slimeball” and stomp
our shells because they envy
our Starry Nights.

These Four Walls: A Poem


large

these four walls hold nothing for me.

i am no fortress. i am nothing special or defined. and yet the walls want me to be. they demand it.

i am no such demigod.

perhaps i can paint. perhaps i can be a novelist, a petty pretty novelist. perhaps shit can grow wings and fly away.

these four walls give me a blank stare. the longer i stare back, the more confident i am that i do not wish to adorn them with anything.

they are an absence, i discover. a disgusting hole that blocks the way.

i cannot fulfill their demands, and neither can they fulfill mine. nothing can disguise the void that holds nothing for me.

the only thing to do is to grab these four walls in bloodied fists and tear them down.

so i bloody my knuckles.

She Drew a Picture of Him: A Poem


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She drew a picture of him

and his eyes were light

and his smile was wide

and sometimes it felt like he could see her.

She drew a picture of him

and the playful sunlight illuminated his skin

and glanced and glinted around

the dark areas, the folds of his clothes

and ignored, ignored, denied, denied.

She drew a picture of him

that she could hang on her wall,

in her mind, plastering that still image

for safekeeping and for empty evenings

when imagination was all she had.

She drew a picture of him

and was particular about the details

(she knew anything she missed now

would be forgotten come a year)

so she paid too much attention

and she gave too much time

and she became too invested

and she lost herself in the drawing.

She drew a picture of him

and it became more real to her

than he ever was.

Socially Abstract: A Poem


Anything I do that vaguely resembles normalcy

is a cheap, mass-produced version I picked up at the Dollar Tree

or manufactured myself from low-quality photocopies.

All these conventions are strung together in dingy sweatshops,

sold separately, in indiscreet volumes,

with my bare-naked self portraits slapped across them,

barely held on with a dash of Mod Podge.

I wear the dingy denim until moths come to consume it,

at which point I am forced to take night classes when I should be sleeping

to relearn the capabilities everyone else inherited upon conception.

Locusts: A Poem


Like herds of locusts, they drone in, to come see what I’ve made.

They snack on all the songs I wrote, so dreamily arrayed,

They spit upon the colors, just to watch them drip and fade.

filler!

A wide cuisine of words and things, so tasty to the eye,

So lovely just to think about, the dinner; in they fly.

They corrupt my whimsy, they make it banal, and a lie.

filler!

I sit. I cannot speak at all, not over their applause,

A hint of something I once wrote is dripping down their jaws.

I try to make them look at me as they wipe clean their claws.

filler!

The aftermath of Armageddon looks so close from here,

The splinters are within my reach, the fragments are so near,

And even though the locusts left, I still know only fear.

filler!

I whisper to myself and sigh, “Blankets are for tables.”

In the Margins of Divinity: A Poem


Paint me a sky

with a wide, wide, black, black watercolor

Draw me an earth

with fine pastels,

with light colors and light touches

Sketch me in on the horizon

give me a long dress

make sure my hair

is blowing in the wind

Infuse every emotion you find

with swirls of the deepest, deepest sadness

spinning bits of love

and orange

for every moment in my life that burns

Doodle me a paradise

with thick spots of ink, birds

across the clouds

Illustrate a pair of wings for me

that sprout from my back

Make them white and

let me fly

Give me a million feathers

that will glow

against the wide, wide, black, black

Create a universe,

a safe haven

for me to rest and run away

Paint a sky, and an earth,

harsh, and soft, and cold, and warm,

Form my figure

out of the tip of your pencil

and

Ensure

that I am alone there