Monday, September 17, 2012

“When it dies, Love draws it upward into oneness. But when Strife tears the oneness apart again, then Fire Water Earth Air get separated and from their separation come monsters, animals, fish, bushes, girls, boys, and all the parts of the cosmos created from these. Also swans, of which the male is called a cob and the female a pen, according to Flannery O’Connor. Not a hen? No, a pen, she maintains. She kept swans.” -Anne Carson on Flannery O’Connor

When your lover wings a wine cup at your head, don’t think, monster, notice the angle at which the crystal arches through the air. Your tongue may taste the space it displaces. The cup does not move through distance, but merely executes a series of shifts of its possible location in which it exists, growing ever nearer to your temple, growing ever nearer to the wall it shatters against when it misses your face.
He always had terrible aim.
These days I do not trust my own language – borrowing the breaths of other lips. Breaths that have travelled the same trajectory as that wine cup – taking me back to your fingers which I kiss. Which I bite. Which I put inside my mouth that I might understand what you mean when you say hand.
Your hand, like a female swan is a pen, hedging in the limit of infinity, holding back complete dissolution, for which there is no word in the Southern dialect – but we do have the practice of stirring sugar into tea before we divide it into four separate glasses, four separate words: mine, not mine, not mine, not mine – which, if you will excuse me, is seven words, not four, but I find it easier to spell love with this alphabet. With this division of space. This exercise of limits, because where do we find desire if not in a span of distance?
To be correct has never been my drive. I have only sought that first world of undivided light which we taste parcel by piece by pressing this clumsy form up against the truth. It has taken many forms but once smelled like tar and took up the space of a body.
Destruction is love’s handmaid. She comes before her baring teeth sowing the ground with salt that one might set a table and pour a pitcher of tea into two glasses, forming two words: this one and that one.
When a lover tosses a tea glass at your head, don’t think monster, he has always had bad aim.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


Have you ever felt
like a wizard
whose cloak
is always
in the wash?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011



Mama always said this
and seemed to know
because her best friend had been shot
when they were just girls.

Mama had been with her
when it happened
at a miniature golf course
in a sequence
that jumps like a dream
and ends with Mama holding Sue Ellen,
propped up against a wind mill
with Sue Ellen bleeding out
in her date-night blouse.

They had both been white.
They had both been girls.
But I never have corrected
Mama's saying.

Saturday, February 26, 2011


As I was falling asleep,

I half dreamed a future

where women scooped out both their breasts

and rooted rocket launchers in their stead.

They were sensual; powerful,

and it was terrifying

That is to say,

when you put your penis in my butt,

it feel like a rocket ship blasting off.

And sex is much better this way,

because no one gets blown up accidentally .

Thursday, February 24, 2011


If I have learned

anything from the internet,

it is that there are

plenty of people to fuck.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011



At your first birthday mother caught three cardinals and cut them clean across their throats. She set them on your windowsill, an offering that she said he been performed in our family for generations.


I have remembered this, sitting at my kitchen table this morning, watching the birds jockey for position at my neighbor’s feeders. There are flashes of red in the bustle, but I cannot count the cardinals.


On the night of June 17th in 1936, outside of Lincoln, Nebraska, one of the carts on the Ferris wheel of traveling carnival tore away from its bolts and hung from the girders, the slicing shriek of steal shearing away cutting above the din of the midway. One side of the cart held fast. One passenger crouched inside, clinging to the side of the cart while a woman held to the lap bar, flung out and swinging in free air. Her legs wheeled wildly, brown wrinkled stockings searching for a foothold. When her fingers slipped, she sprang from the bar, casting her frame into flight, arms beating for the air and finding it unforgiving. The midway had hushed and so the wet slap of her body against the dusty ground bounced back from the tents around.

The men of the town came back that night and demanded the carney in charge of the wheel. They tarred and feathered him there at the entrance, in front of the other performers and cut him clean across his throat. The performers watched him spilling out in the headlights of the men’s trucks. The clatter of their engines, the tick of their pistons droned out across the prarie.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Last night, in my sleep,
my underwear got twisted
and this morning
I had indentations
around my thighs.
I picked up the phone
to call and tell you,
but heard the ocean
instead of a dialtone.