all the books we couldn’t afford
and cases of beer,
We’d just walk out with them
under our coats or sometimes
out in the open like we’d
keeping an even pace
You were the same as me,
at least in the respect
You could steal anything
nailed down, chained or otherwise
We were drunk for
three months straight
I’d dropped out but you were
still in school somehow
It got to the point where we could
take down a 750 each without much
feeling and I was smaller then
than I am now
couldn’t have weighed more than
a hundred and ten pounds
You wore a long coat and I’d
sing myself hoarse if I drank enough
I remember one night at my aunt’s house
we woke up at 2 AM still reeling
and you chased me onto the front lawn
in a white sheet
the grass was wet and you
tore the sheet away from me
spun me around naked and it was
warm, high summer
quiet in the streets with no cars
You told me I was beautiful and
should never wear clothes
You ran your hands over me and then you
threw me to the ground
but we were so drunk we just
talked about Marilyn Monroe and
Elvis until the sun came up
Your eyes were blue or green
I can never remember
and eventually I lost everything we stole
all the books we couldn’t afford
Yes, it’s daily
that we move into each other—but this morning
I was separate even from myself—
my hands were shovels, I had mosquito netting for hair,
and the insect beating against the night
was my heart. My name was hallow
and the sky was made of shale when
I walked into a part of morning
I’ve never seen: the sky still heavy, still
smoldering with the nightmares of others,
the drunkenness and sorrow rising like dew, like fog,
like smoke back into the clouds. Suddenly,
my face was wet with it. I wanted to lie down
with it. To rest against the almost exhausted night.
Uncertain of what to do there
I started dividing the layers, the sediment,
thinking: Usually I sleep through his sadness.
And the morning asking: Why do you keep track
of the middle of the day when you should be
waxing the moon? How can these young fragile branches
be left out in the darkness, and who set that darkness
wandering inside your heart? Who can your love ignite,
like this, like kerosene?
And then the sky lit the morning.
And then I went in to set my own house on fire.
And then I lay down next to you:
a body filling with feathers or with snow
asking: and who are you that my love can light
like this, like kerosene.
We were so poor I had to take the place of the bait in the mousetrap. All alone in the cellar, I could hear them pacing upstairs, tossing and turning in their beds. “These are dark and evil days,” the mouse told me as he nibbled my ear. Years passed. My mother wore a cat-fur collar which she stroked until its sparks lit up the cellar.
The stone is a mirror which works poorly. Nothing in it but dimness. Your dimness or its dimness, who’s to say? In the hush your heart sounds like a black cricket.
come here you tiny angel
“hello is this the government”
“i’d like to register as a healthy functioning human being”
“cool we put you on the list”
Leaning from the platform, waiting for a glimmer
to braid the rails
the eyes of the action hero cut from the poster
all that concrete pressing down
A fine edge gleams around your body
as if it could be contained
The way each finger is licked, dipped in &
rubbed across the gums
until the teeth go away
Even my hands kiss you
A night broken down into grains
If you find yourself lost, dig
a cave in the snow, quickly
you need shelter against the night
A candle could keep you alive
the engine of your lungs
will heat the air around you, someone will
miss you, they will send out dogs
You must be somewhere, right?
Apple fanboys. If only you would undress and photograph me as lovingly as you would unbox my new iPad, if it were yours.
I don’t know whether I am the skirt or the issue.
Try this—close / your eyes. No, wait, when—if—we see each other / again the first thing we should do is close our eyes—no, / first we should tie our hands to something / solid—bedpost, doorknob—otherwise they (wild birds) / might startle us / awake. Are we forgetting something? What about that / warehouse, the one beside the airport, that room / of black boxes, a man in each box? I hear / if you bring this one into the light he will not stop / crying, if you show this one a photo of his son / his eyes go dead. Turn up / the heat, turn up the song. First thing we should do / if we see each other again is to make / a cage of our bodies—inside we can place / whatever still shines.
I don’t usually pay attention to metrics on Tumblr or other sites so forgive me this once. I’ve never done this before (and won’t again). This Tumblr has now reached above an “x” amount of followers I never thought it would, given that it’s mostly text and devoted to poetic words and images.
You can read my own poetry and prose on Tumblr tagged here. You can ask me a questions here.
Thank you for following, and thank you for sharing inspiration every day with me. Tumblr encouraged me to write again, and I read more poetry online and offline than ever now, because of it.
In the dark you breathe familiar lines from Song of Solomon into the capsule of my shoulder. We sleep apart, under veiled poetry for our transgressions. Eat honeycomb until you can touch me again. I dip my little finger in thousands of sticky hexagonal worlds. The hum of our pollen gathering tongues, hidden under heads of flowers. I last looked on you with the sun in your eyes. You still thought you were someone else’s song and I was only the chorus coming in late. I’m the lips you really sing for.
“Stay me with flagons, comfort me with apples: for I am sick of love.” Song of Solomon 2:5 (American King James version)
with another, another man
and so I went to my room
and wrote that article
against the government
for which they then
put me into jail” —Ernesto Cardenal (via grammatolatry)
there’s an underworld of those alone
and maybe tonight I’ve entered it” —From Coming Home, Garden State Parkway, Stephen Dunn (via ahuntersheart)
I think to observe the world and write you need to stand just outside of it, the way I do. I have a large and close circle of loving friends and family. I’m not lonely. This Tumblr is introspective, not a literal diary of events. There are other places on the Internet you’ll find me smiling in someone else’s photographs, but that’s not what I use Tumblr for.
There’s an art
to everything. How
the rain means
April and an ongoing-ness like
that of song until at last
it ends. A centuries-old
set of silver handbells that
once an altar boy swung,
processing … You’re the same
wilderness you’ve always
been, slashing through briars,
of your invasive
self. So he said,
in a dream. But
the rest of it—all the rest—
was waking: more often
than not, to the next
extravagance. Two blackamoor
statues, each mirroring
the other, each hoisting
forever upward his burden of
peacock feathers. Don’t
you know it, don’t you know
I love you, he said. He was
shaking. He said,
I love you. There’s an art
to everything. What I’ve
done with this life,
what I’d meant not to do,
or would have meant, maybe, had I
understood, though I have
no regrets. Not the broken but
still flowering dogwood. Not
the honey locust, either. Not even
the ghost walnut with its
every shadow is memory,
memory … As he said to me
once, That’s all garbage
down the river, now. Turning,
but as the utterly lost—
resigned all over again. It
only looked, it—
It must only look
like leaving. There’s an art
to everything. Even
turning away. How
eventually even hunger
can become a space
to live in. How they made
out of shamelessness something
beautiful, for as long as they could.
When I got out of the car I slipped under the fog to forget my name. I walked around the moon anti-clockwise. My heart is still not empty.
I wrote about the Long Island murders and I’m worried that I did a piss poor job, but I at least included links and quotes from Dacia and Melissa, who are doing amazing work right now. (via nightmarebrunette)
You did a brilliant job, and this needed to be written. The more voices like yours and Dacia’s and Melissa’s are heard, the better. I recommend clicking through to read, and reading Charlotte’s links from this article too.
My iPhone is my constant shadow. I’m glad one of us keeps track of all the places and people I’ve ruined.
Water drowns your panic like a Sunday blessing.
It’s spring. The sky above you darkens with rain.
You think passion is your only gift, but a sadness
older than the sea keeps time in your blood.
Once you saw two skeletons locked in a kiss.
Time has forgotten them. Time forgets
everything except the swan’s neck reflected
in the dark fountain and the way it cried out
its silver anthem of loneliness. Do not drink
from here. The water looks cold and clean
but clarity like that only leads to madness.
Remember when you came here with the one
who held your body even as it changed
beneath his hands and waited for you to
renounce the world? You will never renounce it.
And he looked for stories where others did not, Ms. Polgreen recalled.
On one of my last trips to Liberia, I wrote about how the new president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, was determined to fulfill her campaign promise to restore electrical power to her country’s war-scarred capital. The electrical grid had been destroyed, and the only power came from private generators. She had managed to set up a small power plant to serve a hospital and provide street lights. I ran into Tim at the makeshift ceremony to turn on the new, tiny power grid.
All the other photographers jockeyed for position to get a closeup shot of Mrs. Sirleaf and John Kuofor, the president of Ghana, as they flipped the switch to turn on the new streetlights. But not Tim. He stood apart from the fray, Hasselblad dangling by his side. The picture, he told me, was the light. That’s the story, he said. Light.” —Parting Glance: Colleagues and Friends Remember Tim Hetherington - NYTimes.com
Photojournalists Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros were killed yesterday in Misurata, Libya.
A man on the train with a tattoo on his breastbone. I want to teethe apart his buttons to see it all. I fall to my knees in an art gallery.
He kept calling me “darling” on the phone. When I’m starving, his voice mimics the sound of an intimate whisper.
Cry me a river. I’ve got my boat ready.
a dark woman, Camelia Luna
who has Anna Akhmatova’s nose
welcomes me to her basement floor dwelling—
I’ll help her carry her dead father
I tie him to myself, by the neck…
“He must be so heavy,” she says. He
wakes up and mutters unmemorably.
We called Camelia Cammy (pronounced
Commy) when I was a kid
Virginia my former therapist called me “loony”
“loony poet”—“You were this loony poet”
Heavy with the season. Don’t want to give myself
to a new cycle of work and socializing.
Say something pretty: “Dorior, more golden than a door.”
Anyone gets tired of carrying fathers.
In my dream Cammy’s father
had been a mafia don. She answered the door
in a blue tulle dress.
“This poem needs your love.”
An American might say that
Love an American: “they just love us.”
Get some Housing Projects; listen to Rap in them;
turn rightwing electing a maskface in a nice suit;
explode some nuclear bombs.
Americans come to Paris to find out they’re Americans
how interesting for them; I mean us
tired of carrying that, carrying that weight
around my neck, who the fuck is this man?
depicted as the weight of your life, can
he be the brunt the cruelty
of that? Yes I carry him, carry him…
Out in the forest with an empty pickle jar
waiting to catch a pickle, no a pygmy owl, or
something like that!
if way beneath
my surface, I can find only a diatribe,
shouldn’t you listen? Way…way below—
where the real story must be.
Marguerite Yourcenar said
she wouldn’t be in a book of women
collection of women’s writings because
only women would read it, and
they already knew they were angry—
anger, she said, is one, one person
a little personal sputter.
But that’s that kind of anger, Marguerite—
an anger like Dante’s, a whole leaden sky
a church-charged orthodox anger,
creating, in Amer-lingo, a norm for the Great?
That’s not so bad, to damn in perpetuity,
if you’re Great?
Well, she says,
it’s certainly not trivial.
I can’t seem to get down into the caves
and the lovely pleasures of the pursuit of Soul
by Will. What will happen, will I ever find me
in such a way that I’ll change, off the page?
I know where Dante might be—
tied round my, Camelia’s Luna’s neck.
“What did he say when he spoke?”
The weight round my neck should die.
‘Hi, Mitch.’ ‘Hi.
Catch anything in that jar?’
‘A dead man’s ass disguised as light.’
‘Aren’t you being hard on D? He’s like me’
First to the left, then to the right—
No, left, all the way to the left
Take it as far as you can.
Walking with my toes curled as if I were in orgasm;
now look up at the strange sky above soft trees.
I don’t want to create any meaning;
I want to kill it…
You made meaning; I’m
trying to make life stand still,
long enough so I can exist.
I, truly, am speaking
Well the wild ride into the earth was thrilling,
really, scared as I was and torn and sore.
I say what other woman could have managed it?
My life before then
picking flowers against my destiny
what glance, what meeting,
who was watching, what we don’t know we know,
the hour we chose and we are chosen.
And suddenly the dead my mission,
the dark my mission.
He’d find me pounding out the hours.
Spring is for women, spring clawing at our hearts.
We are pulled forward by our hair
to be anointed in the barren garden.
I want the dark back, the bloody well of it,
my face before the fire,
or lie alone on the cold stone and find a way
to sleep awhile, wake clear and wander.
Before the days of self service,
when you never had to pump your own gas,
I was the one who did it for you, the girl
who stepped out at the sound of a bell
with a blue rag in my hand, my hair pulled back
in a straight, unlovely ponytail.
This was before automatic shut-offs
and vapor seals, and once, while filling a tank,
I hit a bubble of trapped air and the gas
backed up, came arcing out of the hole
in a bright gold wave and soaked me—face, breasts,
belly and legs. And I had to hurry
back to the booth, the small employee bathroom
with the broken lock, to change my uniform,
peel the gas-soaked cloth from my skin
and wash myself in the sink.
Light-headed, scrubbed raw, I felt
pure and amazed—the way the amber gas
glazed my flesh, the searing,
subterranean pain of it, how my skin
shimmered and ached, glowed
like rainbowed oil on the pavement.
I was twenty. In a few weeks I would fall,
for the first time, in love, that man waiting
patiently in my future like a red leaf
on the sidewalk, the kind of beauty
that asks to be noticed. How was I to know
it would begin this way: every cell of my body
burning with a dangerous beauty, the air around me
a nimbus of light that would carry me
through the days, how when he found me,
weeks later, he would find me like that,
an ordinary woman who could rise
in flame, all he would have to do
is come close and touch me.