the trees surround and scratch you
poke into the whites of your eyes
suspicious and accusing
will you be the next to
use our flesh as kindling?
are you the girl who peeled the
thin skin from the white birch?
day 17she dreams of the pink swing set under a canopy
of leaves, shoes brushing colours of autumn
of mud slicked steps, rusted spoons and clear
plastic forks turned opaque from grimy hands
of lard-filled jars and broken glass,
glittering teeth hidden beneath tree shadows
of scratchy hay poking ankles and, below, sharp
metal just peeking through faded itchy yellow:
day 3you said: there is just
something about myths.
i thought there's just
something about your lips.
tell me the myths of
your sleepy hometown
and the truths of hands
held proud in public.
i'd like to learn the
stories of your skin,
the loud silence of
heartbeats and bed sheets.
you don't sit beside me in class anymoreyou look like oversized sweaters waiting for
mr darcy vapid vanilla shows up late to
class with coffee cheeks flushed from cold
(but there's more than meets the eye. i like
the flush of your cheeks and last week i
wondered if you bite lips or lick them; if
you'd change my mind on holding hands)
gone is your floral perfume soft breathing
arm brushing mine proximity pulsing legs
crossing blurry profile in peripheral
(but now i almost like it better this way. it's
easier to follow concentration as it moves
along your features and i have always been
more comfortable with distance anyway)
lost in space1
there were words once, listen:
quiet, soft, like fingers brushing over the fabric of a sweater, tickling your ear, warming, small gusts of heat that spread to your toes, a glinting eye, a curved mouth, a promise.
there were words once, listen:
hard, rough, like metal scraping over concrete, bruising, marking your arms, legs, ribs, even your spine, purple and black blossoming on dark skin, yellowing until silence, an apology.
there were words once, listen:
now there are no words, only the deafening roar of silence.
there are words now, listen:
the old stars whisper to each other. they have discovered the secret of patience, a conversation lasting the ages. a single word may take years upon years to travel and you have to know which way to send it. careful, precise, or you may tell a stranger you miss them.
you can hear the sound of these words, like fast cars on a track, restless and enduring. the faster they travel, the slower time moves, slowing rapidly until it sto
sharp nailsthere is a pattern of
veins on my right thigh
that looks like the long,
blue bones of a hand
sometimes these thin,
spindly fingers crawl
up my veins and
arteries to clasp around
my heart, tug on the
back of my eyes,
dotting and blacking
they scrape the nervous
system and i think i
used to pray to settle
from 3429 ft.two years ago from paris, saskatoon looked like a small solar system, hazy with rain and cold. three days ago from toronto, it is midday and foggy, a thick blanket of grey masking tiny grey buildings cut by a tiny grey river. but the feeling is the same and i want to reach across the aisle to hold my sister's hand much the same as two years ago, russell reaching for my hand, any hand, two changed souls unprepared to face the sameness of home.
but the feeling is not the same. we are not two changed souls: we are just happy ones, 'satisfied with the trip' ones, and i do not hold hands when i am happy.
may 3i press tissue paper to the skin
above my ankle, apply pressure,
try not to think about the red and
searing and the itch in my hand.
i decide i want to cover my body in
ink, beautiful and expensive.
my grandmother asks me why i
want a tattoo.
i tell her, "i think they're
five years of thinking pass.
birds fly across my wrist and i trap
beautiful and expensive.
reverberationshey skinny boy, you walk like you know where you're going
and when you kiss me, i don't know what to say
( and it sort of
reverberates between us, doesn't it? )
parenting 101when our children wake up screaming in the middle of the night
or crawl into our beds, we have a list of reassurances:
"it was just a nightmare" and
"it was just the shadows" and
"it was just your imagination"
until they, too, are desensitized and locked in a cage,
condition themselves to be blind and sane like the rest of us
Someone once told me
That my mind was poisoned
By the white man.
That I was already dead
To my people.
I don't believe a human being
Is inherently evil
Or wishes harm on someone.
The beauty of being a puzzle piece
Is that we're equally important
But remain different.
there's something fatal about coughing up verse.i got written up for writing poetry on the desks
i don't think they liked the language i used
when i wrote how my heart was beating
like headboards against the walls of people fucking
at 3 am to the sounds of joy division
whenever you read me paintings at dawn.
they were going to send me to the counselor,
but i said my therapist probably wouldn't like that,
so they just let me go.
but this saturday, when i'm cleaning lives off of every desk in school,
i'll just be thinking how much i'd rather be sitting on your roof
and laughing when we argue about rimbaud
and sighing as we start to die.
The Owl's RiddleYou come and ask me,
but you don't always understand my answers.
You meet me in the night,
but I'm not a bird of darkness.
Venom QuillVenom Quill 9/26/14
I'll tattoo you with a poison quill
all the venom I will spill
So all the misery you imbued
will permanently stick to you.
I cannot find any time
when you did not feed me lines.
So I will etch on you all the
pain inside my skin
until the message sinks right in.
WineHead on a patisserie table
with a wine-scented napkin
that I scrawled your name all over
in the hopes it might necromance
or just romance you
to this place, at this time,
so we could be together again
and although the guitarist knows
that I'm broken beyond blue
I keep reaching for the bottle
in the hopes it might recreate
or just replicate
to the ghosts with you, my deari came not to be kissed,
or to have myself cradled
in the curve of a throat,
but to be broken,
to be diminished
by your lack of affection
& over indulgence of sexualization.
uneducated in your intent,
found myself left entirely whole
& incapable of the fury
i had sought to sow between the
ridges of my aching ribs.
short history of the universe(what it's like is anne sexton quoting van gogh about sometimes having a terrible need for religion)
A lake slams into a bus and a city is unborn.
Enter an ocean of fog and then desert after desert stacked above the hills.
Then you get drunk as fuck near the tumbling skyline,
and this god damned room burns like prayer in your chest.
Then many missing scientists reappear in your brittle beach,
and your satellites in relapse all bending,
and what it's like is some kind of disaster, honestly;
the arms and the aerosol and the linen and the light.
And the rumble forwarding the sovereign wreck saying
survive yourself like you've survived me;
saying the game-changing theory was that everything is always moving,
and same for the carousal shadow bleeding through the mountain in your dream,
same for your silence and the sudden red rain of witnesses.
And then what unconquerable continents,
what strange forecast occupied via gate via wind and wave-
multitudes of sick yellow branch
muddy waterthe sun rises late now. or hardly ever.
or belligerent carmine on the underbellies of plants.
a shot of sleep to the head, a boxing glove punch.
the metaphorical rooster crows with the awful clamour of its lonely breath.
the thing is, i can substitute the body.
the thing is, the slit
is a fantastic shade of orange
i saw god but he says you still need to get a fucking job
the thing is, i am bathtub water and rotten leaves.
and the taste of power on the morning wind,
a wet newspaper
with the headlines of a presidential divorce.
there is power in the young eagle
hissing at passersby from its trashcan throne.
i know one thing: