before mistranslation

all i really need to say is:
goddamn, moon.

and you would say it too
if you were at my side
watching that sepia
slightly waning
cast its antique light
into the tree tops
and strip of cloud.

and then there’s this:
the gutting
of this news (this article could be triggering
as it deals with sexual violence)
i cannot believe
i/we/you live in this world
i cannot believe
that i/we/you

and then this,
a poem
that happened
and today
on the porch
in the sun:

before mistranslation
the black and white
always hands us
weak women
thin plot lines
flat love that sleeps in two single beds
separated by a nightstand

that fucking nightstand

where a bible surely rests
in its top drawer
and without paging through it
or even seeing the book itself
we know what lies inside
we know
the text is telling us
we are bad people
immaculate conception
is the only way to do it
that mary
probably didn’t even have a vagina
that it was something like a caesarean
infant lifted right out of stomach
that night of three kings and guiding light
like a dewy cabbage lifted from the field

it is said
that in the original bible
before all the mistranslations
and skewing of truths
that you, mary
were not
a virgin

this is the real miracle

in the original bible
you pressed yourself hard into him
grabbed his hair in fistfuls
released oh holy screams
into those jerusalem nights

in the original bible
we were allowed
to have bodies
whole bodies
holy bodies

we were allowed
more dimension
and forgiveness
choose one:

we were allowed
a claiming
at birth
rather than
a reclaiming
that takes us
19, 28, 64, 80 years
to get to
if ever at all

about the butchering

dear readerly folks,
i’m branching out.
the detail format is expanding
shape shifting….

it’s still about the details
just perhaps less about the list.

tell me what you think.

you don’t need to know this
but i’m telling you anyway:
i cried three times

front yard
blue chair
gathering sun into hungry skin
pen to paper
writing across a great expanse
tightening some heart stitches
unraveling others

in short sleeve tshirt
after collecting all that front porch sun
two coconut haystacks in my stomach
bed splayed
natalie’s hand in mine
the stories
that insist
on repeating themselves
about recklessness
about amnesia
about the butchering

velvet theater seat
popcorn hands
acts of paperless bravery
(you must see this documentary)
narrated on screen
and connections
that make my brain hurt
in a good way
the legacy of racism
the insdustry of deportations
families fragmented
if you cut each of us/any of us
there is blood

and then there’s this:

i have been obsessed
with these photos
of china’s 60th anniversery of communism
but the best one is on the actual cover
of the friday oct 2nd new york times
and i can’t find it anywhere on the internerd…







tiny boned ferociousness/the escapee pieces

in honor of the full moon
and in resistance to nasa’s plans to bomb it
(read here

and here
and here

and most especially here

i’m taking some freedom with the details.

the only thing
you need to know
is that two things happened today:

i buried her
the red-breasted sap sucker
and left the candles burning

upturned soil
near supposed apple tree

she said i could cut her wings
as long as i gave her new ones
this time made of gold
for flying between worlds

i lowered her into
wet earth-smelling earth
on a hot pink satin gurney
fullest moon shining at us through tree silhouettes

placed a scroll of blessings at her feet
bound in layers of fuschia gold blue thread

tucked a note of gratitude
at her side
especially: the reminder of persistence and change

threw crumbled earth over her
feathered jewel of a
bird body
tiny boned ferociousness

tossed sesame seeds
to feed her
quench her
protect her spirit

pinned her wings
spread open
in desklamp light
to piece of wood
my hands and molly’s hands in purple gloves
sprinkled borax
to remove moisture
from the thinnest fleshy parts
let them sit for two months
molly instructed me

sewing the
stuffed heart
back together
red thread

sounds like a metaphor
and maybe it is
but literally
it is a stuffed patchwork heart
humongous and huggable
sewn for me by joolie
as a birthday gift
two years ago
with the word together
embroidered across the front

i sleep with it tucked under my arm
every night

it had been ripping open
bit by bit
until it became a full blown gaping hole heart
and still i insisted on sleeping with it
which meant
gathering the white puffs of stuffing
every morning
finding them between layers of sheets and quilt
sometimes under the bed

which meant
while dreaming
sometimes  turning over
in the middle of the night
flipping the heart from one side of the bed
to the other
to acommodate
then going back to grab the escapee pieces
all this
in the middle of a night’s sleep

bonus thing:
i will take you
all weekend
cassette tapes
billowing curtains
fluffy white comforters
iron maiden meets nine inch nails

playing piano on each others’ shoulders

1. hour in bed
before shoving covers back
cool meeting skin
command center
phone calls
ring tones

2. the kind of breakfast
i would cook with a lover
garden tomatoes
garden collards
garden garlic
so good i forgot the sri racha

3. revisitation
that intersection
outside that chicken joint
energy bar snack
where hands dug  into hearts
we would have climbed inside each other
if we could have
those words
(baby bats)
every bone
every blood cell
reverberating inside solar plexus

4.  miso
in sun
of front porch steps
silver thermos
we pass the steaming cup
back and forth

5. perched on newspaper box
i think she’s going
to ask us for money
she tells us
we have such wonderful/gorgeous/radiant energy

6. fernhill park
blanket tossed on sun-covered side
of tree-patched hill
walrus of a dog
on my lap
in the arms of my hug

7. fingers working out knots
also known as
playing piano
on each others’ shoulders

8. backlit panels
from red
to green
to blue
back to red again
largest mound of wasabi
i’ve ever been witness to
and i dig right in

9. blue dust moon
so huge, you would swear tonight
tonight is the night it’s full
edges softened through thin layer of rain
we ache
we rage
over october ninth
the day nasa sends bombs into your surface
‘in search of water’

10. paused on bike
glimpse of orange red glow
something like a firecracker
but actually carnival rides
spinny up in the air make you sick kind
weaving across pitch sky
through the trees

11. laughing in circles
across straw scattered floor
wild at heart

this is no way
to fully encapsulate
emroidered flower shirts, pearlized snapes
slide sound of boots across cement
arms and arms and old arms and new arms
leading and following and bottoming from the top
fingers hooked in beltloops
more fashion mullets than one can count
strawbale perched conversation
dozens of queer cow[all gender inclusive]boys
reluctant to walk out from the glow into that cool night

12. bike motion
is the best

the fine art of vowel removal, surgery for words

1. tulsi tea
hot breakfast cereal
cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom
almond slivers
new york times: north korean/south korean family reunions
tears in brothers eyes
who haven’t seen each other in over two decades

2. the fine art of
additions of alliteration
surgery for words

3. photocopier
hungry for my documents
my perfectionism
in this zenith moment

4. two week project
great envelope baby handoff
i can barely let go
mail clerk patient

5. burritosplosion
fork required

6. spotting suki’s volvo
ten minutes later
i buy
10 colors
of 0.3mm markers
for 13 dollars

7. steaming water
three candles
sound of world

8. towel wrapped
blanket wrapped
couch perched
like a spa
complete with pinstriped handsome lad

9. eileen myles kitchen read aloud
still towel wrapped
hair dripping
the essays
like me
more than the poems

10. nicoletta
by the power of human moments
fleetwood mac magic

11. teal sequins
slipped on wrist
bling for the roomclean
tegan and sara accompaniment

12. molly offers marinara
garden tomatoes
stove bubbling
fresh parmesan
filling belly
warming heart

13. hilarity of
an inarticulate
yeah, things and stuff
traveling by horesback
debate team

no one ever taught me about triage, but i embark

1. sleep in til 10
the real first cold night
one sleeping bag
one down comforters
heartbeet quilt

2. if anyone were to torture me
they would find a way
to recreate
the moments
of cool air
hitting bed-warm skin
covers lifted
body entering world

3. tulsi tea
new york times:
u.s. and europe shipping our trash
to china
eight goddamn years
u.s. military
occupying afghanistan

4. first day
of wool tights
deep pleas to sun

5. inside corinne’s studio looking out
dried bamboo leaves
rain coming down
i swear i can see each drop

6. fleshing out
arrangements of letters
calibri font
artist statement
writing sample
the economy of text

7. ten poems
laid out on floor
no one ever taught me
about triage
but i embark

8. pedaling
working heat up under the layers
cannot bring myself
to interrupt momentum
for hoodie removal

9. twenty minutes early
workshopping poems
war battle hymn
winter exile
pressed chrysanthemums
liver mistaken for pancreas

10. 707 area code
how late is too late?

9. clyde the bike
in my arms
up concrete steps
across freeway
down again
every limb
every wednesday
for the next ten weeks
11 miles

11. night ride down broadway
tiny bits of rain
thrown down
everything about this moment
[fresh air
body in motion
rain on face]
is perfect

12. somewhere in there
i overlooked
quesadillas with goat cheese
freddie and ink and birthday flyers
corinne bearing gifts of cake
nicoletta and i on green cloud couch

so dazzling, i return to her





1. marathon
of moments
embedded into days
breaking me wide open
heart reaching out chest
to sky

2. immense nest of sadness
immense body of joy

3. impromptu yoga date
shiz in red and white leg warmers
crossing sassy shack paths
ten til nine

4. breathing into hip openers
sufi splendor
holding us up

5. secret short bangs handshake

6. post office
5-cent stamp purchase
deal, not a steal
elton john, rocket man blasting

7. fighter jet carving it’s invasive way across
fall bright sky

8. red-breasted sapsucker
bird body
so dazzling i gasp
biking past
so dazzling
i return to her

9. 3-egg omelette:
garden greens
garden tomatoes
garden garlic
goat gouda
slow eating
new york times reading
couch cloud-lifting me up

10. npr
tracing accents and language
through lineage and history
to place

11. forward motion
through work
artist statement
artist bio
writing sample
train whistle hurtling
corinne’s studio
smell of ink and paint
coming unstuck

12. dinner
3 candles
spicy greens
bbq tempeh
steaming cornbread
nicoletta, you can’t ever leave

13. slow drip of sweat
tickling thigh
sauna-hot walls
burning into thick heel skin