Life’s Cold Cubicle Must Melt By Noon On Friday

As silent snowflakes drifted down from blunted tips of skyscrapers, all was quiet inside 860 Broadway.

The brick-lined building contained a handful of heads bent toward glowing screens, crooked necks testament to their owners’ devotion in this collective ennui as muted minds drifted away to the grey sky.

A hush had settled in on the top story of that heavy building on Broadway. Only a persistent high pitched hum could be heard; it had begun to seep into their brains and it clung to the edges of every head, consuming the empty air with its relentless ringing.

It followed them down subway vents and into train cars, piercing their ears as they glided across icy sidewalks and even crept into their beds at night while they slept.

The ominous hum grew until it subsumed their minds the way darkness devours the sight of a man that’s spent too long in a red car with the motor running and the windows closed. It begins with a tiny black spark, then chips away at the light until awareness evaporates.

The building dwellers turned their heads to the sky and imagined the vast swath of icy desks splintering, the quiet air crumbling, ennui falling to its knees and the hum becoming a distant memory as Friday rolls in, the sun presses from behind clouds and the snow stops falling.

After the Ending, Before Begins Again

My soul doesn’t understand this dead language
Muttering gritty salt
Ground between worn teeth
Joy
That permeates the cold air
Bleeds like a chapter book
Quiet stories on musty yellow pages
The reds are blue
And the blues are black
This breaking
That splits the air, the bitter dripping poison
Is another phase
Heavy drugged eyes
Dread opening day
The nights are empty
Void of sharp edges, bookcases, final endings
My sleep was rounded, curved away
Like flowers reaching for the sun
The black is grey now
Dried up and dispersed
Loss is eternity
And then it ends
And I’m drunk
Lips form words and fingers read poetry
Hands and hips and homes and hair
Burn to the ground
I loved you
I don’t know what else.

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Meat Blood Brain Stew And You

There are things we sit and think about on cold days by cast iron

These are the things bright screens and listening machines mute and diminish until we can barely see past the edges of our faces and we can hardly hear our heads

Quiet is the best pot to stew wonder

Boil meat and brain and love together and blood begins to flow in our heads once again

Boredom brings us to a human place, a place that is painful and overwhelming

And it brings us meaning and meaninglessness cooked together into a satisfying, delicately spiced dish

I want to live life away from the clamor of this culture, away from positioning and propositions and the ruthless, zealous sport that clings to my clothes

I want to brush it all away and pull a child from under my dress, lifting him into a world where humanity is washed of insincerity

I want my child to produce, to contribute to participate and yet reject large chunks of this haunch presented to him, rare and bloody. I want him to nibble at the meat, cut away the fat and toss it to the dogs

I want my baby to look up at the sky and understand the planets spinning, the pine trees piercing the abyss and acknowledge his own immense insignificance

I want him to understand he doesn’t know anything at all, but that he is an irreplaceable part of this massive mysterious myth, that he and I will end but the universe will continue and through it we are limitless

I want him to discover that the power of his heart pumping is its own universe.

A Man I Never Knew, Never Knew A Man

His gentle soaks into my fearful and crushes chaos

His thoughtful sneaks up on my distraction and our minds’ align to obliterate a dreaded cold fate

Kindness seeps from his skin

Our happiness improvises lines from nighttime sighs where I’m his sweetheart and he’s my man.

His hands are a house and his breath is a car

His grip on my hip
Is a quiet Sunday street, empty sidewalk baking in the sun
I’m not scared
Of being here with him
Those old fears were crushing
Love ushered away on another summer day, blue and red lights flashing
But today is new
The heat settles in and swallows my scarred
My evil ugly worried tail
And I feel human

This budding, emerging man beside me
Pushes up through the concrete
Hungry for water and light
I sit down now and
Nurturing pours from my fingertips

I want to knead any hard parts with my knuckles until his skin turns pink
And we sigh together
Softened again.

Passing Through Ridgewood

The night air touches my cheek
With affection
Whispering sweetly, sincere
Calming an uneasy head haunted lately by bad dreams
The street is quiet and I’m alone
Feet echoing on the pavement like a single heartbeat
The hum of window ac units
And distant mariachi music
Remind me of families huddled together now on worn couches
As I pass
Pink cheeks peacefully pressed against mother’s chest
Lives mushrooming from the quiet that once was the emptiness of a lonely room
Love blasts from the stoop
A tornado that sweeps me off my feet and sets me down again, stunned
I don’t have anyone to call my own
But the scent of trees in bloom tonight
Brings me to tears
The volume of my soul is turned up
My spine is a totem pole and my legs swing in revolutions
That time I stitched my own tattered tongue and reassembled my fractured ribs did not scar me
My freedom is tangible
I carry it in my pocket and it courses through my headphones
I whistle the tune
While my love waits its turn
My dreams are bright and painful
These days
They light the street in front of me
And I don’t have anyone
But I have this.

My Heart Is A Mosaic

Aside

You focus on picking up the pieces of your life
Pasting them on a blank canvas
Colorful collage of self and solitude
You sing a story with snapshots that can only be found in travel magazines and books left at bus stops
You deliberately slice each page in two
Take the half you need and leave the rest
Piece after piece, surgery after surgery
You’re crafting a world by tearing apart what once was whole
You took my right arm
My knee
My nipple
But I still have a heart
And I never told you this secret
I never let you know my heart is a mosaic
Made from the rubble of a million glass houses
Formed by the sun playing on the lake in late August
Hold it up to the light and you’ll see something new each day
Its beauty is best viewed dancing under a canopy of trees beside a fire
A few hours before dawn
Hair filled with smoke, body pumping life
And it’s true
This glass ball can break too
It’s been smashed apart like yours
But the pieces are continuously, meticulously glued back together
I take what is already broken and rebuild
No cutting
No blank canvas
Just a collection of tiny parts that pressed together transform
Into a billion brilliant moments traipsing across the water.

When Day Broke Us

Day broke
And death
Streamed through a wooden window frame
Shadows danced on the brittle wall
And I saw you for the first time
Delicate hair on end, lit up
Red eyes hopeless, wild
Veins shouting from the corners of your nostrils
Heart on the floor
Love rose up in my throat and poured
Into the sink
Yellow stains hung around the edge of the sturdy vanity
That held up rotting walls and a sagging ceiling 
Imperfect walnut sanded smooth by hands
Now forever folded and cold.
 
From that day forward
The light never wavered
It was there in the morning
As each dark night clung to us, vying for our minds
It broke in, smashed its fist through the fragile pane
To illuminate my pale cheeks
Dead eyes
Your tired mouth
Our despair.

It shined on our cold fate
Not to warm
But to illuminate the hell before us.
 

Kablam, I Love You

Her heart suddenly exploded today
Sitting upright in a hard black office chair while
Updating spreadsheets
Numbers ricocheted off spongy grey matter
Enter and delete
Data
Motion, quash, errata

But at once a dripping noise burrowed into her brain
D-d-drip-sssplash
Blue splattered across a grey landscape
D-d-drip-sssplash
Red burst on the scene
Breaths came in short, pained pulls
Primary visual instinctual reactions
Colorful coronary dysfunction
Love
Anger
Sssplash
Longing
Despair
Sssplat
Her heart burst
Kablam

Reality is more than numbers
More than grey matter and black chairs and spreadsheets
Seal it off seal it off seal it
Keep it dry
Try all you want and one day
Riding the bus or tying your shoes
There will be a splat
And with that
Your heart with explode and you’ll know, but won’t live to tell.

Come home; it’s warm here

It’s simple
heat radiates from an old boiler
bath water
carefully drawn
instinctual faith
the steady sound of waiting

outside
wind grinds
teeth churn
spider fingers crawl
crack, fracture
seconds splay out
stretch
skin over a swollen abdomen

wind screams at the night
and the answer is always the same:
you’re not in control
forces brewed
by explosions, erosion, evolution, time

tiny stitches
in soft fabric
minutes hang in the air
heavy and sweet
steady
heart drum beat

here in the center
of a human body
there is this warmth.

The L Train Blues

The train gave her déjà vu that night,
flashbacks rumbling over tracks.

Men had pulled into her station,
loud screams of metal brakes grinding against metal
aching to slow down
while bracing to take off.

The sway of the train rocked her to sleep as she dreamed of their faces.

All of them gone now down that same, black tunnel.