Ruby

she talked for fifty minutes,
then kicked me out of the brownstone,
to dark bluish rain,
and I feel her eyes on my back,
through the glass.

she is watching me flail,
the sleeves of my raincoat are twisted,
and I can’t put it on, and I’m crying, a little,
and the boy next door, he’s staring, too,
from the frat-house stoop,
she sees their parties from her room,
she said, I hardly think about you.

the monologue, it was brilliant,
and the performance, top-notch,
it is one year later and
I am almost convinced
that she’s fine,
really great,
though her face read deranged,
and I am not quite convinced,
since her hair is blue, now,
with violet-pink,
and I don’t know what to think.

I am walking in puddles, yellow-bruised,
I am kite-high confused
two miles above Broadway,
I am small as a speck at 5:42.

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I came for a party, but the group appointed me exorcist

Michelle’s bed was unmade
while she was away,
and something scrambles the speakers,
though they’re working right now;
I am here for the party,
and also an exorcism,
Ana is twenty-three and
that’s too old for ghosts,
we agreed;
she stole holy water
from the chapel,
it’s right here in the cup,
but we’re saving it since
we’re mob at the moment,
all drunk from mulled wine,
and the synesthete’s dancing,
though her leg’s in a cast,
and the beat’s purple black,
Heartbeats claps to the street,
and the room is alive;
there are ghosts and we know;
and I see the signs true,
in the South we inherit
ghosts with kudzu,
I am qualified for the position,
I announce to the crowd;
and they whisper in wonder,
brief simmer to hush,
Ana passes the cup;
I dip my hand in the water,
and flick drops at each doorway,
this is good riddance I say,
they join in and we’re chanting,
now profane, delirious,
I press my thumb to wet foreheads,
I have crosses to paint,
water spills to the floor,
we howl and breathe green.

Laurentide

I read that eventually,
glacial ice becomes thick enough
to flow under stress of its own weight,
and now I think of the Laurentide constantly,
of ice and chewed rock,
a melted tongue
cutting the island to grooves.

I hear things as they were.
A churn of plucked gravel.
For basal melt, whine.
Since schist likes to whisper,
I might as well listen,
go walk on the bones.

Oh, glacial erratic,
I am fell for you, too.
All these scars in the park,
always scraping out blues.

panic in a tin can

panic on the subway 
empty orange seats and me
fluttering looking trying not to look at Them

(do They see
do They know what this feels like)

i don't have any drugs i ran out two days ago 
two days ago 
things started getting bad again 
and i'm scared so scared 
no meds to gloss me over with 
everything blurs

the thrum in my chest
an endless return
but i want to go home.

cleaning out

the heat lighting in my elbows travels fizzyquick
to my fingers and palms.
they’re called brain zaps,
a withdrawal symptom
where electricity travels in strange places.

the pulse travels just slow enough so i can trace lines of
the disturbed muscles pulling.

but you should know,
i’m not too worried.
i think it’s just the me
surging back
into myself.

nosedive correction

housefly in my mind,
zipping around and bumping into corners.
the static grinds wetly hotly against skull

i look at chapstick and think of snowfalls
i look at zippers and think of concerts
i think of my girl and see stone fences
in past new england pastures
barriers and divides and things to climb

how complex
surroundings can seem,
but then i look at the sky,
at the quaking aspen and birch closing above,
and it’s funny
how simple
feelings actually are.

distance

were i winged,
or perhaps just on a plane,
i’d be in your bed by tomorrow nightfall.
instead i cocoon myself in blankets,
and must imagine you in Spain.

my poems aren’t grand,
faraway love isn’t novel,
but i miss you, i need you,
and i wonder it all:

how’s the coffee?
how’s the cat?
do you write of me,
or just talk like that?