The drip drops vibrate against the diaphragm and reverberate,

Against the spine and ribs and other bones, and other bones,

The drip drops from a gasping clock,

Tic, toc, oc, tic, tic, tic,

Hollow echoes in an empty room,

Shat out what hope held would be exhumed,

She had guts,




I know you’re afraid of its

Hungry bore, its

Yawning crawl,

The taste of its inhabitant malignancy

I know it’s come when I watch the cat hair in the bathwater

Suck past my legs and down the grate

Through the vortex that tugs at my toes

Grooming me

I am its pet

Not its slave

I can’t save you from the way it breaks your skin

Like sausage casing, and sucks your insides out

Till all you are is a cellophane balloon in a vacuum

And I’m cellophane, like you


But degradable

And it won’t be done

Even when it throws me away

Time Decay

Raccoons in the backyard

Half dead candle in the living room

Ants in the cat food

What’s a little dirt in the foyer

What’s a little fly in the butter drawer

What’s a little mold in the coffee

The reminder of the missed deadline

The day you turned 25

Missed call kept in eyeshot

Father’s day card you didn’t write

Countdown to a countdown

Provisional rewrite




My knuckles were white and the hilt of the sword was,

Brown with blood spots like ink blots,

In a Rorschach test,

Wrist gyrating with each pump of adrenaline,

That told me if I dropped it I’d just,

Have to pick it back up again,

Squeeze tight and swing harder than I think I’d need to,

To keep a head rolling deep into the outfield,

Battlefield, stinking with all the rotten time I’ve had to grieve

Whatever it was that slipped apart in me.




Fractured light when your eyes find me

Skip a stone through it

I’m just a pretty serenade from the bully pulpit 

I’m the way your words sound when you pick yourself up enough to stumble back upon them

Snap the shot as soon as you feel it

To remember how you felt when the sunlight glazed the wall that way that morning 

I’m so 


In it

Keep it away

Till you stumble back on it

Purity Ring

You know that they tumble into it like a fever

Dream, schemed while walking south of a childhood memory

Have you ever wondered what would happen if Freddie Kruger fucked Freddie Mercury?

He grasps her hands

They were warmed by the fire of faith

Unholy kindling

Yea, they’ll fall into it feverishly

They’ll collapse into the

Dream pop and white noise in the background of his

Naked reveries

Grinding her in his day dreams

And strangling her in his night sweats

Have you ever seen a puppy so cute you just want to squeeze the life out of it?

Violins scream the soundtrack to an off-kilter horror scene

The role of the oblivious virgin in white panties

Make her wet


Keep her pure and

Savor it

Lick it up and

Save her from it

Then gather it and

Smother her face with it


Fingers in her mouth

Till she swallows the shit

Till she ingests it so hard

The next time she shows her face in his

Viscous fantasies –

White panties –

She radiates it.



Words Sound Like You

When you finally know the date because the milk is off

You hear yourself in the songs about broken hearts and

Crawling back or walking on because

Those singers are just as narcissistic as you

For turning their misery into catharsis

And you hold each other like an enmeshed mother and child

In the basement of a foreign house as the apocalypse

Wages outside

Hoping a century from now your black bones will be discovered

And regarded such as the lovers from Pompeii

When you’re in love with no one but your misery

And the tales and tunes of your misery

Because misery doesn’t ask for or expect anything 

But your misery

And somehow you’re still god enough to see your misery in anything

And what fortune that

The stars care enough about you to line your path with mirrors so you’ll

Never be alone.


I was sitting on the shore

Swamp-assed in the summer sand

Beads of salt water rolled down me

And I couldn’t tell my sweat from the

Wet land

Twenty-two miles to the ocean horizon

500 feet to the car on the asphalt

Get Jesus and my water shoes because by God

I’m going walking

Let them cry and blow their whistles

I don’t care if this whole town forgives me

I’m a local with no loyalty and the devil’s son above

Is damn near killing me so

Cover the kids’ ears when you talk about it

Whiteout the headlines all summer

To keep that seasonal joyous cash crop growing

Till the birds fly home for the winter and the Lincolns stop flowing

This beach is a dog in heat and she’s god damn bleeding.

If I ever make it back to your bio-hazards and incubators,

I hope the birds have had their way with me,

And that the waves carry me to the child from Tennessee

And my eye sockets sprout for her an anemone,

And if I never make it back,

I want you to know I hate you

And the horizon is twenty-two miles out, and it’s got something else to offer.



Betty Shamblin

Betty Shamblin was a product of degenerate illness

Swan song of the choir that was suffering from madness

Married a man that could bring her out of it

Fell into a double-wide, ass burned from the butts left in the recliner

Stuffed her children into a shoebox, hands thrown at their incontinence

Bounty wipe for a wet wipe when there wasn’t enough cash for consequence

Stacks of paper scratch offs in the corner like a treasure chest of casino tokens

But the exchange rate is lousy,

Doesn’t she know dollars are made of cotton?

Rebel Run

She’d re-packed the Honda late last night, after she drove her friends home from the bar,

Laying down to sleep when she got the call, across town without a paddle they were,

Went home early for a reason, all for naught, spring is the season, and she sprung,

Reckless with the keys, tossed the shit out in the yard, kicked it through the door,

Pedal to the floor.

Heart cry obligation.

4 days should be enough time away to starve the fruit flies until they’re dead and gone,

6 a.m. start should be enough time to drive as far as Atlanta before she needs to stop,

Friendly drunk vomit stain on the passenger door, rolled down the window last night,

May the wind sweep some away, may the highway grime memorialize the rest,

The wicked don’t rest.

Get in the car.

Alabama was where she’d left herself behind 10 years ago in her grandfather’s Chevy,

Dark daisy with a permit at a graveyard taking the photo to win the photo contest,

He said I can’t take you but you don’t need a license ’round here, go win the gold,

Breaking the law for the sake of art is about as noble as they come,

Go on, rebel, run.

Laws turned to promises turned to hearts turned to honesty turned to fingers turned to

Intuition and the art stayed art and then became the journey to the art defined as loosely

As her aimless, retrospective, circa ’01, losing artist’s statement.

But stayed her rebel run, wicked in rest, she needed the pedal to the floor

Not the journey or the art but the choice to leave it all,

Without caveats or restriction,

And the choice to come back

Which she chooses every time

With open arms

And a sponge for the passenger side door.





Wolf Mother

Prick me while the moon is waning

Suck the blood out with the poison they fed me

Empty me and feed me to the wolves on the precipice

Suicidal over hunger gazing at the rocks in the gorge

You thought a dog couldn’t feel it

You thought a dog couldn’t feel it

Posthumous savior of a land unremembered

Forsook and forsaken, let me be nameless

The only difference between that and a martyr

Is that a martyr is shameless

You tighten the leash

I feed them bits of me till

The leash is tethered

You thought a dog couldn’t feel it

You thought a dog couldn’t feel it

Wolf at a stoplight

Rummages through the dumpsters of urban blight

Sets course for the precipice when the trash doesn’t go down right

Tell them the truth, urban cowboy

You’re obsolete and it’s a crisis

No cows to heard, only wolves at the bit

You thought a dog couldn’t feel it.


A drop of water in a pond
Turned the whole thing into a

Vexed ocean fit for a Michael Bay adaptation of a

Jules Verne novel

Each ripple a new pretty ugly


Where are the damn royalties.

Quel poesie

Mi amor pizza j’adore

Come si dice

The difference between free verse and free style and the air when

The truth comes busting out as if it’s significant

It’s not a heart of pretense but

Lavender and sage, bled words and word play

It’s just

Lost in the matrix of a land unjaded

Because everything else got jaded and

I learned language

At the age when growing up meant getting fucked

up and over for the sake of


And I tried but the only solace I found was in the experience of relinquishing it

And god fuck I relinquished it


You couldn’t tell from a glance but baby bebe bambina

I’m angry at the way I –

I see it all now

Pon de motherfucking replay

16 again realizing fantasy is a fallacy

Mixing my brains into brain stew for the

Sad drummer in the drumline

Sad dancer with the wide smile

Dumb bitch in carmine

Click-clack, a clock keeping time

Automatic transmission with a manual overdrive

And I just let it

Just let it all

From the top to the bottom


Everything was dominoes

I couldn’t help but dance around it

And there they went

And I watched as they fell in a pattern I couldn’t recognize until now

Hedge maze in a bright blaze

Always stepping too late

To hold that last domino

Against the weight of the ivory and the blood that was spilled to put them all in place

A violent dance with myself

Stepping too late, always stepping too late

I make myself laugh when I step too late

In a dark room

And I’ve always been feeling my way towards the end of the line and the

Sacrifices for the accusation of a crime

Giles Corey in Wonderland

There the fuck I go again

Velocity-inspired Bible-based hellfire

Dominos click-clack like that clock keeping time

On a bomb set to detonate whenever my legs give out and my weak arms expire