buoying up impossible weight

1. panic leftovers
for breakfast
washed by water
and water
and water

2. stomach point 36
earth on earth
calf twitching under the needle

3. inside this forearm
muscles clenching
5 needles
releasing
wintergreen oil
it will ache for days

4. let’s get postmodern with this
rearrange words and sentences
into the shape of
hand on heart
pressing

5. on st. johns bridge
green of forest park before us
great river below
buoying up impossible weight

6. maidenhair and lady ferns
brushing calves and forearms
volunteering to lift toxins from skin

7. backyard studio
white walls
shoe-marked white floor
held
in rocking chair
salty cheeks
feet hanging over
like a 7-year old

8. gratitude
on pine-needled path
for so many
heart-open
authentic
brilliant
connections
paula wrapped in my side hug
how she was there on october 30th
bringing song to the dinner table
you get what you put out there

9. molly and corinne
injera laid out before us
lentils
cabbage carrots potatoes
spinach
building home

1o. laughter in layers
desperate to surface
act of  survival

11. blue candle
yellow candle
sweet grass smudge
keeping vigil
over the boxing ring we hope to reconstruct
as an ocean

12. the most important work
i’ve ever done
in my life

13. stumbling in the dark
without handrails
reaching to feel our way through
we arrive

how we meet each other with strong arms and huge hearts

1. crow in street
pulling meaty insides of squirrel out
ne 29th and dekum

2. 17 bike miles
smell of sunsweat on skin
the passport office
the river
the co-op
the studio
the treehouse
the trainstation
the esplanade
the train tracks

3. ceremony for a tiny mouse
at the maybe-sparrow
candle
feather
dried flowers
words on miniature scrolls
broken clay pot handshovel
cross of twig and twine

4. 9pm bell
air carrying message of time
20 blocks
between church and home

5. thunder in the south east

6. corinne
slicing mushrooms
asks
do you eat?

7. offering of water
to an incense-smelling
stranger
overheated truck radiator
mama with screamy baby
front seat

8. yellow foam mystery shape
tucked inside gelatin capsule

9. favorite biking moment
heading south on 11th
downhill
gaining momentum
racing inevitable yellow light
portland storage co. sign
coming into view

10. rochelle and i
constant change
cursive writing on cement wall
weight of metal camera
click of shutter exposing light to film
how we meet each other with strong arms and huge hearts

11. highest energy of new moon wish manifested

12. gold tooth street art
on pedestrian bridge
after raspberries
eaten off
fingertips

13. coconut oil turned liquid
in jar on kitchen shelf
and i am ecstatic

14. ‘pinnacle’
enters my vocabulary
on t-bird’s roof

15. panic avalanche

work-horse etiquette

1. drinking water
in open jar
one quart at a time

2. hiv/aids activist protests in capetown
i learn
how much power
bright colors and movement and song
can bring to
acts of resistance

3. more work-horse etiquette
more often

4. hum of ceiling fan
inviting me into sleep
wind chasing itself

5. tears in eyes:
in movie theater dark
under sun on bike
in work bathroom mirror

6. bike bouquet and note
you could not have been
more perfectly timed
gratitude
gratitude
gratitude

7. broken:
waterglass in dining area
she apologizes
i tell her it happens all the

8. broken:
white ceramic plates
falling to concrete
in dish pit
fabulous sound
fabulous slow-motion descent

9. black sports bra
whitepink jean skirt
bare feet

10. my mother of millions
plant of fear
sharing garden plot
with the endless pit of need

11. goat gouda
on rice crackers
midnight

12. moon
soft haze of light
under cloud spread thin

threading the shape of wings

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1. following the wide river
that welcomed us home
from halfway across the country

2. cutting sleeves
and stitching
forward
reverse
forward
reverse
forward
maroon on mint green
threading the shape of an ekg/seismegraph reading
threading the shape of wings

3. out of the following choices:
difficult
or
more difficult
we choose the latter

4. pool of the winds
corinne swims the crashing cold
if it doesn’t kill me
i have to go in

5. how the wind sounds
through trees
2100 feet up
a blessing

6. (hi minna)

7. dust of dry forest
on scraped leg
under nails
inhaled

8. yellow toothpick umbrella
in fresh squeezed mint lemonade
back porch
half moon
thin maroon tshirt
gathered in fist

9. hugging myself
as the view spills open
breath comes from some place
below me

10. how crashing water
from far away
moves so white and slow

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remembering poprock kisses

1. stevie wonder
signed sealed delivered
i’m yours
makes the kitchen
a better place

2. knife in hand
reducing purple cabbage
to ribbons

3. the pause between
mistake of blade on skin
and
actual rise of blood to surface

4. remembering poprock kisses
amongst the birds of paradise
awoken by sunday morning church in the pavillion

5. shannon, amelia, trillium
a toast to the great
emotional passage
the image:
a watercolor boat

6. soaping off
thin film
of grease
plastic black comb
through shower-wet hair

7. shannon, lauren, naomi
in the car outside
a kind of homecoming
arms i didn’t know
i was longing
to fall into
luaghter
i didn’t know
i was aching to release

8. cold hand
on strong small neck
a taste
of cool water rushing

9. u people
queer documentary film project
my heart a firework
my brain firing synpases
chest cavity swelling
implosion of joy

10. first dinner: cucumber
second dinner: salad on rice
third dinner: sushi and seaweed

11. holes cut into memory
old neighborhood
though i no longer
recognize
these streets

12. walter
the sometimes snoring boston terrier
in my bed

stutters in the orchestration of time

1. morning dream
kate
inside the arms of my hug
ridge of spine rising up through coat
underneath my palm
sunglasses covering eyes

2. is it true
i go most of the day
without eating?

3. i’m convinced that our dishwasher servicers
have all been hired
from the 1950’s.
that milk-man smile.
a cheer that seems so ironic
i inspect it closely for frays.
but still, i am pulled in.

4. punched-in at 8:04.
besides my coconut water
in the reach-in
and matthew’s purple fedora
and jon’s joke about burning man
there is no poetry here

5. tears in david’s eyes
at the counter
as he talks about
volunteering at an animal rescue in south america.
how the chimp
with hands so much like ours
after days of ambivalence
sits in his lap
and how days after that
the chimp sits in his lap
grabs his human hand
and holds it to her soft chimp belly.
how hard it was to say goodbye after a month.
tears in my eyes too.

6. stutters in the orchestration of time
i must go at this alone

7. muddy fingers on lady ferns
sorrel leaves sweetsour in my mouth
lungs full of spring tender green forest
ears carrying the roar
of water so fast it runs white

8. cupped hands
drinking cold snow melt
believing that it is clean

9. dropping loose leaf
into the wet rush
249 feet up
we stand at the edge
our words
pulled out of our mouths

10. my skin tells me
this is what the air felt like
when minna died

11. accompanied by four-day-old moon
we walk out
through the deepening dark
it feels good
to trust the ground beneath me to translate
what my eyes can’t see