Party girl

I do not identify
as Democrat or Republican
the closest I come
to party loyalty
is Independent -
not because I’m familiar
with the stiff stance of policy
but because I think every human
should learn
to define themselves.

I spent Clinton’s last term
with a liberal stockbroker.
Bush’s first term, locked down
by a cop so conservative
I dated a DJ until Obama
he just seemed so damned moderate
in comparison.
I understood his values -
we just didn’t sync.

Since then, I
have campaigned solo.
I never answer the polls
and my life is less volatile.
Ten years of true liberation
and I've learned to smile more.
The ticket I run on, these days
is called integrity.
Call me selfish.
Call me snowflake.
Call me turncoat -
but I’ve never cared much
for playing politics.

You can never sway
toward either extreme -
No matter how true your views may be.
Even small condemnation
is hard to dismiss
once you’ve been labelled
a rabble-rouser.

This assessment of character
clearly a misunderstanding -
still, I refuse to debate.
All I can offer is this -
humble oath of affirmation.
Faithful dedication.
A thirst for understanding,
and the willingness
to simply state my case.

Take it
or leave it,
friend -
in the end,
we all cast our votes.

The Craftsman

He was renowned for his facades - his soaring minarets, and demitasse scrolling - his gingerbread trim - so detailed and delicately colored, a delicacy of frosted-wood glory.

His attention to detail was flawless - each feature carefully researched and represented in its full glory - but with an artist’s flair for design - the most well-considered placement of flourishes - the creator’s subtle fingerprint. A Cape Cod’s hand-carved cedar shingles, for example - each smaller than the pinky nail of a tiny child named Violet, for whom it was crafted in honor of her mother’s favorite childhood vacation spot. He had weathered these on his own humble kitchen counter - using a mixture of sea salt and substances he would not reveal, though he insisted they were all as natural as time's progression.

Nothing creates the look of nature like nature herself, he would say - and he was the kind of man you were sure to believe, when he spoke like this - confident and firm, wholly dedicated to this craft. It was his passion - his life’s pursuit.

He won award after award, commission after commission, until he began to turn most away. His time was limited, though he filled the days. He did not raise his prices or form a factory to fulfill these new requests - simply continued to accept the ones he could; those concepts which struck his fancy. Those which pushed him to learn a new aspect of the trade, or hone a particular skill to perfection.

That is what he crafted - perfection. The most exacting, minuscule replica of some doting parent’s dream - a diminutive Edinburgh castle, a minute Edelweiss chalet, a petite pagoda, an infinitesimal ivy-covered brownstone, a Lilliputian island. Still, he merely maintained his own simple standard of living, despite spending his days crafting the microscopic mansions attainable only in other’s dreams.

The Craftsman grew old. His sight failed, his hair faded, and his lean, sturdy frame became stooped with age. He remained alone, always - and though his hands slowed, he continued to carve out a steady existence. He chose away from wealth, and fortune, and fame - and maintained his quiet existence. Eventually, he took on an apprentice, in preparation for the inevitable.

The young man, one day, grew bold, and asked his master why he continued to live such a meager existence. A bachelor, still, in his spare, tiny flat - he spent all of his waning days in the workshop, dawn to dark, crafting one impeccable, bijou masterpiece after the next - these immaculate models of the superb. The Craftsman said, simply, I design perfection, it’s true... but inside of this perfection, these flawless rooms, there is space only for the imagination - the semblance of family. The idea of life. The essence of happiness. The dream of love.

le coeur veut ce que le coeur veut

The heart wants what the heart wants
and tonight, it is coyote howling the moon
all bared teeth and bloodlust
and taking no prisoners -
howling hollow on glass claws
chewing doorframes
to splinters;

The heart wants what the heart wants,
cannot be sated -
growling belly prowling
veins twitching for a fix
that cannot be needled

The heart wants what the heart wants
but cannot find it,
so it crawls the barren night
lonely nose to broken cobblestone,
searching for a wafting scent -
a counterfeit whiff
of nostalgic familiar.

The heart wants what the heart wants -
palms down
and ain’t taking any shit from anyone
tonight - just
pumping bloody reckless
all hard thump and feckless
and just what the fuck
do you think you’re looking at,

The heart wants what the heart wants
has no problem taking it
doesn’t want to

The heart
the heart
the heart

Love poem for the Moon

We have been staring
across this night sky
for so long

I am unsure
if I have imagined this light
across your face
rising reflection of my own
fierce, bright horizon

I am no longer
convinced it matters
so long
as our gazes turn
to each other

I believe
this blossoming
gravitational pull
hold our hearts
in close orbit.

what I will do, what I would do

Spin the bottle

When the bottle points in your direction
I will lick my lips
anticipation pricking my hips and thighs
quiet reminder of hasty handprints
and you will rise to your feet,
unsteady and eager
sweaty palms, dead giveaway
to virgin nervousness.
We meet in the middle -
nose to nose,
toe the line
and the dream stops.

I wake to view the body
of a middle-aged man
who snores with abandonment -
who drinks the same way.
And I fuck like he drinks
but I don't feel terrible
in the morning.
I'll leave
before he joins the living.

He won't remember me.

You are the only one
who does.
When you ask why
I don't come
I refuse
to leave with you
I will not sleep beside you
I will not point

this is the truth:

The bottle always turns
in your direction. I lock my lips
when I realize
I love you
too much
to rub two addictions together
just to see what sparks.
I know
what smolders

are a molotov cocktail,
doused and unlit - glass still intact
just barely.
My thighs,
these flame-licked limbs
a thirsty forest fire
left unstoked
will burn to quiet
by sunrise.

When the bottle tips -
I will not sip. I'll settle
for smoking coals

and friendship.

You'll wake
to view good intentions
snoring beside you. Her trust, crumpled
and tossed to the floor.
You'll rise
unsteady and blinking and eager
to pass on the crown of blame,
your throbbing head, waypoint
to last night's transgression -
and I'll remain woke
alone in my own bed
wrapped in thin integrity.

I will regret everything
you can't remember -
grip a handful of ashes
and sift it for treasure.
I'll wait for the story's spin -
one more cycle
to this revolution.

Just meet me
in the middle,
please -


It starts
with snapping the bone
into the right position.
Abrupt reintroduction
of blunt breakage
and sinew.
Soft tissue
reknitting itself, now
to swaddle the vulnerable -
calcium and phosphorus
to bring reinforcements,
the breach points.
New layers
of fossilized mineral -
sifting sediment shifting
to ossein form,
skeletal plaster
which hardens
in time
to supportive frame -
old injuries become
something new,
stronger than ever

The TSA line

We queue for the next opportunity
to sacrifice
pay alms to the small gods
of false security
offering benefaction of pocket knives
and lithium batteries -
travel-sized spray cans
of dry shampoo
and bottled rage
laying our laptops and rights down, neatly
zakat for the widow's mite of security
endless oblation on the rumbling conveyor belt
of the American dream,
of freedom and fortune,
and all this
to protect us from harm
from the trauma of extremism
and/or the burden of differing perspectives
from the shock of being blown into the unknown
or lying,
in a new time zone
if all this sublimation
is worth it.


habitation at high altitude
lofty ambition of flocking birds
home of raptor,
abode to wise bird of prey
breezy shelter, crafted of kindling
twig, paperwhite feather
drifting down -
subtle pinnacle of this homecoming
rising aria
of flight.

Aer, she said
the Latin root, meaning
Of the air
when what she meant
your love.

Orange You Glad

You can take the time
to peel the rind from it, but
underneath is still
the same damn fruit -
sweet or bitter
ripe or sour
segmented center,
firm or foul
cannot be fathomed
til you bite -
so open wide
and taste
the pithy insight.