Schoolyard

A lumbering predator
Cornered by prey
In a dark room
Lined with wire.

Stone feet pick between
Spindle-sharded grass;
The appetite dulls, I say:
I’m not hungry.

Hysterical rabbits
Spin flustered clouds
Of babbling acids
In moisture-muddled air.

Pinwheels of red
Darting in darkness;
Their wild whizzing fears
Frighten them dead –

They are still screaming
Long after I leave.

I Have a History of Things that Cling

I have a history of things that cling.
The staccato song of my first scolding,
The brown whip-lash of a cane;
The sticky dew-eyes of girls with wings,
Somebody’s plum of a dress fluttering;
Sometimes the steamy fumes of old rage.
The sorrel-shaded mud of my first flood,
The peeling grainy green paint of a wall,
The sick smell of sugar water and ants.
Dead leaves whirling through the past and present,
Many sheaves of underused notebook paper;
High tides steadily pounding the shore,
Wind that whispers of echoes and lore.
No one else in the classroom —
No one else on the field —
Ice-cold blue made electric by staring,
Made bruising purple by the red of its bearing.
I have a history of things that cling.
I have a history I may not sing.

Planning, Providing

I live calculating value
in the digits of my hand.
The ink each can drop,
the hearts unlocked.
I tend to come up short.

I live with decisions machine-like
metallic decisions, heavy
with the weight of consideration.

I live too recklessly
treading a thin line assuming
that tomorrow will come;
that all of this is
building up building up –

to something.

The Journal

A thieves’ cache of crimes
golden & dripping
casts a Macbeth of light and shadow
over the walls of a cave –
a tragedy of condensation,
slumping down the stones,
a haunt of superstition
in the dead and dampened air.
My own cache of confessions
to crime & fear & love
every hair-like crack I fill
with dripping, dramatic droplets
secret hatreds, and gold
are draining through the walls,
with fears both fresh and old,
I am filtered through the stone.

; therefore

All you love in me
is nothing. Gratitude
is a drug that helps
us swallow the most
nauseating of things.
Resentment. Pride. The hate
erupts from me
more so than kindness
more so than coins
dropped into donation boxes.
All wishes are selfish
by nature, by the need
to lose ourselves the pain
of empathy, by eliminating
the source of the pain. So
you love all the things
that are no things at all;
therefore you don’t love me.

Managing

Taking out loans of happiness
from early productive mornings
Spending time to atone
with mourning and misery –

Taking notes from videos
of friends sitting in a room, talking
Spending time to atone
several volumes of intangible loans

Taking out sleep in the night
to pore over notes I took
Spending away the future
repairing the bridge to the past

Taking a break
for breaking
Spending on
opportunity costs

Taking out loans of happiness
all yellow and syrupy, now
Spending it on survival;
building up a debt.

The Reflections

A girl in a house of mirrors
arms full of strangers’ handwriting
struggled to hold it all together
a ream under one arm, a stack in the other –
every day reading letters about the same things:
that opinions differed, tongues were sharpened.
Until she understood, she had to mend that
difference, and how awful a person she was
to sit and only contemplate these nothings!
She would not bear the boiling of feelings
inside her otherwise, where they were unexplained
not stuck to smudges, not tied to a word,
but thick and hot and nebulous.
A house of mirrors stood with a
girl, inside, an endless flood
of strangers’ letters and words.

After the Rubbish

I am no longer in the position
of cancelling whole paragraphs,
ruining more rolls of paper
than average.
No longer in the role
of the mantelpiece corner
decoration, now having room for ornament
where I used to stuff drafts.
I am no longer in the position
of keeping my head down,
or of knowing what to do.

Again and Again

I walk again and again
the road, to never relent
against the tide of dust
so soon to come, and the practice
mars my skin, builds my bones
and numbs me thoroughly so
no cold no heat no seasons,
no reason I should rest;
no sting from piercing blows,
no bleeding from wounds,
and numbs me pointlessly for
a dust that never comes.