salvaging sweet sleep

1. 7am
salvaging sweet sleep
restless dog and earplugs

2. arm stretched warm across
milo’s chest
lift and fall of sleepbreath

3. claire’s baby belly
pressing against
black punk tshirt
we gather around her

4. sage
a dish full of wishes

5. heat sweat
lavender hands
sobbing convulsions

6. watermelon
cut open
on kitchen counter

7. backyard arm wrestling
of my muscled determination

8. pressing fork
into dough edges
pierogies from scratch for dinner
processing for dessert

9. sun-saturated brainmelt

10. misplaced mason jar

11. green, blue and purple crepe paper
strung between back porch beams
lifted by wind
released by stillness


down into the dark earth

1. subterranean
the work we lower ourselves
down into the dark earth
to do

2. 8am email compositions
language cooperates with my heart

3. first thing:
quart of water
lime pulp and juice
under back porch sun

4. cold hand
snuck under shirt layers
against warm skin
ribs expand

5. lack of wind
gives me wings

6. how this body kicks in
on four hours of sleep
this is fight
not flight

7. sun slipping behind west hills
pulling orange veil
across broad sky

8. two-step lessons
in uneven grass

9. thigh as headrest

10. heartswell after heartswell
i cannot help but smile
the reclaimed bodies
the ferocity
of this cross section of
all we’ve come through
to get here.

11. goosebump sting
of sun on unaccustomed skin

12. favorite ritual:
flowers from the yard
desktop shrine
nuts and fresh fruit
candles lit
an offering
to this fierce creature of love

someone’s hands made this

1. backyard
high above lilac grove
bald eagle and crow
it is the
that draws my eyes upword

2. yoga
two minutes of abdominals
partner poses
julie’s forearms
thick and smooth
in my gripped hands

3. flight of a dandelion seed
how the air carries it
wind, the great pollinator

4. morningmare:
all audio
a voice i do not recognize
words i cannot remember
detailing a plot to

5. basket of huge chalk
set out near the sidewalk
an invitation

6. shiz’s eyes
ocean green
glowing in the window light

7. baby bird body

8. heartbruise color change
bluebrown to brownyellow

9. sun decides on staying out
sweat gathers
inside elbows
behind knees

10. nkotb knuckle tattoo
bic pen

11. golden world
at 8pm

12. a vision:
leading a mandatory workshop
for my boss/manager
schooling them on
the fine art of
human interconnectivity

13. sip of miss fist’s tequila drink
through thin red straws

14. artgift
waiting on my stairs
someone’s hands made this

gift of igneous rock

1. thirty minutes
to fernhill park
twice around the track
and back
running through drizzle
before rain moves in

2. tuesday sings
laura marling
the lovers
from brooklyn, new york

3. new berlin, wisconsin
mom takes phone outside
holds it up to thunder

4. fingers pressed down
and moving over
coiled metal strings
we sing
england’s not the mythical land
of madame george and roses
it’s the home of police
who killed black boys on mopeds…

5. for toby:
gift of igneous rock
for anchoring

6. curse of the digital age

7. wet sound
traffic on dekum street
rain under tires

8. table
too small
for this gorgeous bounty
(massaged kale
black beans and rice
roasted roots
sparkling blood orange
sundried mushroom polenta
rhubarb pie)
full stomach
full heart

9. kettle over blue flame
its half-hearted whistle
dream blend tea
10:30 pm

10. persistance

11. fingers through Tbird’s hair
hand on shiz’s shoulder
i am glowing
i am home.

sound rises up

1. swish of red raincoat
on bike
heading south
along 28th avenue
west hills coming into view
over the freeway

2. first work of the morning:
building gates of gold
as consciousness
washes in

3. pink plastic alarm clock
ticking at bedside
30 minutes behind

4. six miles by bike
two miles by foot

5. shiz reads
over the phone
about mercury in retrograde
this makes it easier
to forgive myself

6. garden of blue bottles
srpouting from re-bar
the way light moves through glass

7. dry heat
wood holding us up
limbs slippery with sweat
pink-skinned and towel-wrapped

8. four-year-old
in green stripes
hands over ears
after the drilling stops

9. another word for moaning
sound rises up
through floorboards

10. cannot find moon in sky
but notice thin strip of cloud
picking up its light

11. whisking cinnamon into homemade rice milk.

12. leek cross sections
all shades of green
spilled out on cutting board
resembling a handful of jewels and eyeballs

13. restoration

declaration of a fierce heart

1. two tiny kittens
eyes shifting
through blue to green

2. striped tights and jean skirt

3. fake russian accents
laced with irish and french

4. coconut water
passed around like a good beer
like a lifeline
sark should be here

5. at least five cop cars
blocking dekum street
at woodlawn park

6. wind
lifting tree limbs up
ruffle and sway

7. black ink
colored pencil
sketches of dogwood and lilac

8. loft bed
hot water bottle
rubber band around wrist for every moment of shame
declaration of a fierce heart

9. geneaology
held in two binders
on corinne’s bed

10. fixed gaze
shoulders strong
moving into the wind

11. accupuncture points:
spirit burial ground
lifting open hearts
to the surface

the subversion of gorgeous

1. 9am
washer spin cycle sound
rumbles through heat duct
so loud
i look out window
to see if they are doing construction

2. four sun salutations
and as much mason jar water
as i can manage
as a line of first defense
but the overtired crank and sad still creep in

3. i find some answers in the garden
and come away
with dirt under short nails

4. three colors of lilac
how to write about these flowers
without using the word

5. pressing shiny lemon cucumber seeds
into dark potting soil

6. heating pad on high
wrapped around wrist and elbow

7. a segue to sleep:
‘how to become a famous writer before your dead’

8. napdream:
sleeping at someone’s side
a bodiless voice telling me
“i must go now”
we are book characters, movie actors,
not anyone i really know
but the message
that someone will leave
still hangs heavy

9. black shirt
white tie
blue pick up truck

10. rattle of train rhythm
shaking the wall
i lean against

11. kajenne pepper onstage
all that light and purple
it is the white face makeup
the glitterpopped balloons
the dress which fills the entire stage
(waves and tufts of fabric)
the subversion of gorgeousness
that reintroduces me
to a certain sad
whose hands i used to hold
while she howled
over freeways