intimate forms of resistance

1. barbara
the chiropracter
almost wiry woman
built of kindness and ferocity
presses my shoulder with one hand
twists my head with the other
my neck
a string of pops
my spine
a sheet
of bubble wrap

2. raúl zurita
calls them
intimate forms of resistance
and also
this option:
poems as the earth’s dreams
and the bait falling from the sky
in one of these earth dreams
doesn’t register
two pages later
the bait becomes human body parts
somebody’s son
somebody’s mother
falling on pinochet’s chile

3. overheard:
professional superficialness
s and sh sounds extra enunciated

4. what if
we made time capsules
at the beginnings
of everything
so that we would have something
to round out the unclosed circuit
(a quarter sheet of art stamps
purchased at the grants pass
[it’s the climate]
post office
go unused)

5. i see you everywhere
but today
in that slice of moon
in the dusted dusk sky
dangling over
the poof of palm trees
the wide green shine of banana trees
same shape as a
three-whole punch scrap
viewed from the balboa park pool steps
radiating the soaked-in sun heat

6. plastic smoke alarm
unscrewed from ceiling
crammed inside desk drawer
so palo santo incense smoke
can rise
around your saltwater
your housekey

7. day thirteen
of wall street/zuccotti park occupation

words for snow

1. chiropractor
hands me a neon-new tennis ball
wilson ti 4
for rolling the knots out of my back/shoulders on
this is after she suggests
something warm
something with weight
to drape over me
so that i can sleep on my back
and still feel protected

2. the rush of traffic
more acute after
the cracking of my back neck hips cracked
streets like this
were not built for bikes
and still aren’t
but san diego doesn’t offer options

3. six sambusas
(spinach, lentil, potato, coconut)
tonged and tucked into white paper
in the rush between classes
six deep fried triangle pouches
that were never meant to
go unshared

4.  stein didn’t like the word ‘repetition’
he says
she preferred ‘insistence’

5. corinne and i
give each other 15 minutes each
plus two minutes after that

6. as many kinds of missing
as there have been said to be
eskimo words for snow
(which is a myth
but the sami [arctic indigenous people of sápmi]
have hundreds of words for it)

7. grey
pulled across the sky
a dusk of many blankets
to hold the warmth
in your redwood nest
how i would like to perch and curl there too

wade in

1. in the dream
i was searching for yogurt on the cooler shelves
and in the diffused light of pre-morning
i woke with eyelids
like tops of muffins
risen over pan edge

2. slowness
padding the edges of day
underwater movement
to match
the quality of your closed-eye photo

3. to the juice of three oranges
i try piecing it together
for kaya
voice and back giving way

4. that marching band
i sent it in from san diego
suited up and started marching last night
left a trail of sequins and music
up the coast

5. sun breaks into sky
washer whirring
i clip clothes to the line
the heat liquifying my shoulders

6. dear beloveds
it starts
i understand that to address this poem to an entire planet but to write it only in english is problematic. this is a small beginning.

7. i carry two candles
into the bathroom
set on white tile counter
before squeaking the faucet to
it might be the same time
you are washing work
off your body

8. kaya, rachel and i
take the paved steep path
twisting around the ocean cliffs
no moon but the moonstone in my back pocket
in my hand
we find our way fine
and at the overlook
i can’t help but say/exclaim
oh. my. god.
on repeat with every crash of blue glow waves

9. kaya and i scream
on shore
in water
so warm
i take my tights off
and wade in

10. your heart
in the water
leaving luminescence
under the kick of my feet
stuck glittering on my saltwet hands
like constellations
like embers


and in the belfries
of the world
chimes pealing out across sky
the reverberation
in our ribcages
(our hearts tossed
into the salt of ocean waves
and the soft of redwood moss)

soundtrack: nina simone
fire: palo santo

is the best word
for the crossover of our (pre)histories
bear paw
mark and neil
the jolly roger
master locks
summertime rolls
needles/fishing wire
citrus-slice windows
bombed-out postcards
blanket skies
geryon and ancash
william steig
maurice sendak
caps for sale
glitter pony bitches
springsteen remix
open skies
cardboard clouds
porch prince
mint and rose
water to water
and all the rest
too grand
too gold
too much made of the things stars and dirt are made of
to wrap in language

arcing from here to the gates of dreamworld

1. if sadness is made of strands
this morning they are long and bowed
the quality of sunlight and spun gold
arcing from here
to the gates of the dreamworld
where i shook her hand
both of us unexpectedly authentic
body language of reception
the glitter of kindness in my eyes
but first
i refused to look up from the book i was reading
because i wanted you to reel at the surprise of my presence
i wanted you to reel at the impossibility of you and i in the same room
the ache of every accumulated lover i’ve ever given myself over to
the ways we’ve twine and wound up unbraiding
the wonder at how the shape of your legs
how the calves angle out the knee down
hadn’t changed
how some signals / patterns / appearances
key us back
to times we have wiped from memory
like standing in the spot
where a childhood house once stood
now paved (a parking lot)

2. heading west on the #9 someone behind me says
could you stare any longer?
to some man looking out the window
at the woman in workout gear
she just puts it all out there
he says
lycra or spandex
bright yellow shirt and fitted pants
nipples evident
conservative dress for what i’ve seen on sidewalks
and he wasn’t the only man staring
all of which is the root of my desire
to smooth it all over on my own body
to press chest and nipples back into themselves
so no one feels
to own me that way
so no one can play the
she’s asking for it

3. two folks
face to face mostly filling the aisle
the people who get on at the next stop
have to walk through them
brushing limbs past limbs, belly to belly in the process
an unintentional reinactment (clothed)
of marina abramovic and ulay’s imponderabilia

4. valarie opens door #302 to reveal
the magically arranged and decorated
total transformation of a pacific beach apartment
(where the doucheboys play beer pong downstairs)
including fuschia and teal
accents and arrangements and
if i fell asleep on the bed
i would surely wake up wondering what
fantastical and magic faerie tale
i woke up to
i love your place/this space you’ve created
i say
i love your colors she says of my plum shirt and various others
her atlanta accent making me feel like she’s offered me tea
or lemonade
(which she comes quite close to
when she offers me water
for the road)

5. she offers to hold the canvas bag while i
roll the black/pink wetsuit
for placing inside

6. two mylar balloons
ribbon-tied to porch railing
heliumed and windswaying
the number 30 printed on each
at 3566 ingraham

7. white pinwheels of plumeria
tucked behind the ears and long brownblack hair
beyond the fence of the pacific islander festival
as seen through the glass of a half-opened bus window

8. i use the word shitshow
when talking about the adams ave fair
which happens to be going on between where everyone is coming from
and crg’s house

9. someone calls us
the sober sisters
and ryan and i lift our
lime-water glasses

10. at some point
the idea of dressing up as that paperclip helper from the old
microsoft word
for halloween
becomes unexpectedly

11. the knit
on the hooded sweater
so loose that it lets the night air in
cool and cutting
as i pedal towards texas

12. the four of us talk about the very real possibility
of the eventual dissolution of the united states postal service
mailboxes as ghost towns