collapsible souls

i admit that i was expanding,
and that isn’t what you want me to be,
so i will fold myself up,
all of myself, my lank limbs and bulging hairs,
crease and crimp until it’s slight as a shadow
small enough to stick in your suitcase,
if this is what it takes,
because I don’t know what else to do,
and i don’t know what love is.

a jogger will find me in a park,
just another body folded in your wake,
with cold eyes and
a pathetic smile

Lee Van Cleef

His hands real steady, his gaze real slow,
black on black on black, head to toe
he is lethal, he is lithe,
he is lonesome, he’s alive,
he’s everything I want to be and more,
he’s a good man deep in his core.
He wears the skin of a killer but I know,
that everything he hurts is just for show;
but some costumes stay on at the end of the day
and we must learn to put our sixguns away.

threshold of paradise

I’m here at last, frostburned and tortured,
but I’m here, good lord, I’m here at last,
and the gates are shut to me –
but I’m here, waiting at this hinged wall,
pounding the crystal until my arms get shattered,
knocking with stumps until they’re too meager to even be stumps.
I’m here, damn you, and you won’t let me in?
After all this suffering, you will still leave me to die?
Ah, of course, there’s a lesson in this
learned as I leave my body to the vultures and,
at long last,
the doors creak open to retrieve me.


such an insignificant and frightening thing
with pearlescent eyes that shift and gleam
and the stench that sticks across its coat
from the feast of flesh, fester, and bloat.
it cannot harm you, not on its own,
but gorged and fat on flesh or bone
Yet when its buzzing fills the air
there is no greater or lesser thing to fear.

could love you

i could love you for the ways you are unlike me
the fire in your eyes and the
great spurts of passion,
i could love you for the way your clothes are piled
on your floor,
and how you haven’t eaten, i could love you for that,
i could love you because you aren’t like me at all,
with my cruel determination and my
uninspired plodding like an overwork mule,
i could love you like an artless metaphor, i could love you
for it all, i could love you despite
it all, i could love you
if you’d let me

Frozen Flowers

The flower flesh is frozen
but there are seeds beneath the ground,
there are seeds beneath the ground.
The florets have all grayed
Their scent is buried in the snow,
I do not know what Spring will bring;
I fear what things may grow,
but the birds will someday soon return
and sing and peck and bound;
for they too know, and they too fear,
the seeds beneath the ground.


We are all just fossils who do not know it yet,
men and women with wet skeletons,
walking, talking, living, loving,
never thinking of how we’ll look in cold, hard rock.
We will be not be denied the privilege of being corpses,
we will bloat or pop, our skin will not grow
clammy and slough off with time. We will be burned
into rock, or will be thrown
into deep bogs; when they find us,
so many millions of minutes from now,
our bones will still stink of meat.

Leave The Light On

Leave the lights on if you’re not ready yet to dream
leave the lights on if the night urges you to scream
leave the lights on if that thought is still spinning through your head
or surfacing your subconscious like the Louisiana dead.

Housecats bite like panthers when you fumble them at night,
and midnight thoughts are lonely even in the warmest light
The sleet is tapping on the shingles and your dreams begin to whorl
Leave the light on, leave the light on, and let the ceiling twirl.


I did not expect love to feel this way-
all hard edges and the scent of
lingering perfumes in couch cushions,
all warmth in the midst of blackness,
like two lonely souls in a submersible.
I don’t know what I was expecting –
flowery words, flowery feelings,
not the inward balance of forces
fending off these crumpling pressures.


Sweep up all the words,

Slosh out your soapy waters,

drown the spiders with them,

Bring down the old Halloween decorations,

The Christmas thoughts,

And find new things to stir that

Precious space