When the Breathless Throw Down
Clearly you can see I’m not spirit born unlike those
Jesus said don’t know where they’re from
or where they’re going I understand the wind the rising
flying falling apart the wreckage remaining
in ascensions wake as Dorothy crushes evil’s broom
that swept Kansas from my heart on one side the
prairies leather Daddy chest makes me feel safe until it doesn’t
until the ocean’s maternal exhale rips all living things
up from the ground leaving me to write it all down
I understand why wind & stone slap each
other around earth mothers sky fathers place your bet
its anyone’s mouth when the breathless throw down.
From Bluestem Magazine
When they named you Flotation Device,
members from the church of pseudo-salvation
gathered on the window’s prayer smudged side
with noses pressed hard on cool steamy glass
breathing a heavy fog of relief, a we’re here
for you little Saint Flotilla, little cushion
stained with humanity’s gas, already so tired
of the world in your lap, already smoothed
silly by nylons and boxers. For those who
attended your miraculous deception, there’s
no better way of leaving this world, then
to bend like you with our heads between knees,
with mouths open wide for the ocean’s blue praise,
cresting and crashing on a coastline of lungs
with such perfect pitch at last.
From Columbia College Literary Review
Crawling to the Kingdom
Your fingers shout deliverance, the lock said to the key.
Hearing the jailor’s violent song, your ear became the shape
of every throat found open.
Tenderness taught your tongue
the holy scrub of pink.
Trauma forced the church in you
to burn a thousand candles.
If praise is how the body drugs the mind with light,
a reflection of the golden cage whose bars are made of bones,
prayer is nothing more than
a deathbed made of words, the way the fear of punishment
blooms through your skin, the way you watch it nightly
on the sad and crippled fly,
crawling to the kingdom
on the crime scene’s yellow tape.
From The Inflectionist Review
When they named him Scenario Central
like Whitman’s multitudes breeding fiercely
under a furry white chest, he knew boys
are why wood fears the axe and fathers
are forests in flames. He heard songs die
in mothers at birth in terror of daughters
having no tongue.
Tender as newborn kittens in a sack
the river did not want to swallow,
he prayed, not knowing he could.
Words carved holes in his pillow
while dreaming, which later were filled
with half naked men, courtesy of underwear ads.
Raised in the church of choices,
he suffered the strange adoration of stars,
each distant blink, night’s little death,
preached a gospel of galaxies lost,
the untouchable jewels of god.
The yearly revival to cleanse confusion
from brain to bowel and beastly parts
made clarity a sweet narcotic.
There was no time for blaming the scholars
of scars for soldiering children from
wombs to wars, no time for thinking
the mind’s better day would dawn
at the tip of a glass syringe shaped
like a Murano Jesus.
Inside the body on top of the soul
was a crown painted red with poems.
Scenario wears it like all kings do,
reckless, bloody and proud.
From Aurora Literary Review
Love Thy Neighbor Boy with Birds
This island’s blue canopy of camouflaged clouds
impaled by the Olympics’ sawtooth smile
flutters with tons of cold gray steel,
with birds my neighbor boy flies in the dark,
birds, my neighbor boy trusts in to save
us both from a nuclear sun.
Loving thy neighbor is easy, flapping my eyes
at his faded cut hair, poking my beak at brown desert boots
that carry his heart to foreign lands
where new nests of harm and regret are made
by powerless creatures of flight, creatures like me,
the son of a bird whose father loved his neighbor, the sky.
From Cumberland River Review
After death leaves its stinger
buzzing in my head
don’t let the hive of a million lies
tempt you with their honey.
If everlasting, the cruelest word
is used to describe my absence,
erasing me with a pencil’s head
chewed by the mouth of god,
tell them I wrote nature poems,
about the nature of passing,
tell them they have holes in their souls
the shape of a hornet’s heart.
From The Coachella Review