After Picasso’s “Women in Waiting”

This room tastes of plastic
cadavers. The carpet,
stitched with rusty silk,
holds a woman whose eyes
can’t stop drinking her own holes.

For years
she has wished her skin
tree bark, thought
her clothes held too many
ideas that weren’t hers,

and every room feels
the same way as this. Haunted
by a soundtrack of words
and cartoon walls built
with sick faces that wear
like taxidermy. People

and their limbs,
touching like the matchsticks
that come too many
in a pack, stuck in
the pain that stays
like clock hands
on street lamps.

Everyone save her
clamps their ears
from this noise,
wears costume jewelry
to stop the drown
of their sewer veins,
belonging only to
the bruises on
their back.

Bread and Circus of the Graveyard Shift

Two gasoline canisters clanging
sound a lot like crickets. Cigarillo embers
lonely headlights as heat climbs
disappointed lungs and lost
Barbie idols fasten themselves
for the ride. A masked man scuttles
from a John. There’s too much silence
here, thicker than overcooked gravy from
the breakfast shift. Generations old
is this stillborn twinkle, only alive
for dreadnaught, the night, a mired
wind ravaging sailboats, awake
only to drift—along with phantoms
of empty 40’s and worn out spoons,
they thirst after yesterday,
wake dreaming of strobe lights
and empty visions, the whisper
of dark mushroom flesh. We see
only redundant corpses,
and only in the graveyard do they howl;
as midnight phosphorous preaches 100% real
beef enchiladas, here lies the feast. A stolen mirage
crafted half-heartedly, as the world re-invents
a thousand of its own distractions
and we reap them.

Victory’s Aftershave

We’re all running from the same cockroach
searching for that fake moment:
the apex of tossing waves, a tide
shelling more than its own sand,
magnetic plastic, water unboiling
and reboiling, a picket fence
with personality, gasoline torched
sunrises, smoke signals
arriving on time, anticlimactic
cancer, a ring that fits insecurity,
the eye of a tornado, victory’s aftershave,
the engines of storm clouds, anger in mosaic form,
two hearts stilled in amber,
a sword made of good-will, wet money held
in old age’s palm,

I’ve heard it all before,
the novelist wandering the world,
knapsack of mercury on back,
wielding an opus only second
to the champion of night crawlers,

a faltering crescendo. A gaze saturated
with too-much-whiskey and dug-up-sunflowers,
plea dealing with silence, nowhere specific
not to anyone at all,

what if this is it?

palestine

ISRAEL-1-articleLarge

Beneath fleshily woven chainmail, you and I–
we are only strangers in our wardrobes;
stolen by battling bands of light
brothers of the ethereal , we are
as lost as stagnant water in a gutter;

under surface tension leaks longing,
and scrawled in litter, violently apart
our kin is born like poetry

spun into tapestries of imperceptions,
murkily masked in an embryo,
unknowingly a talisman for sickness–

please, hold these flecks of soul to your breast,
let your pores absorb the terror of choice
because I believe in spite of everything,
our bodies can be eternal. after all:
We’re just prophets of the same history.

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Aside

laced foundations

a friend once told me his school was built on a landfill
eventually turning so caustic, he had to vacate
and i thought “but aren’t they all?”

under god, indivisible we preach
a history constructed on loaded shot guns
and broken sums

a land pummeled with inequality,
capsized by cannonballs, sown imperceptibly
with the thieves of righteous tears

and how soon has
the symphony of passion
deluded our fibers

how soon have we forgotten
the glimmer of freedom once nascent
in puddles of blood, that it
was never hinged upon rhetoric

how soon our vision has purged
as we raise proud slabs of marble to the cityscape
hiding thoughtfully arranged vermin

we have forgotten what this all costs

to politico

At what point did you forget about human beings, and exchange our lives and hearts for chess pieces? What’s the endpoint of a bill’s cycle? What legacy are you leaving for the world? I’m pleading you to ask. Tell me, at the end of the day–will you ever be something greater than your own ego? Have you truly been a force of good in the world?

You may be a ‘public servant.’ You may use rhetoric to justify your innards–but as my dad always tells me, “you can’t lie to yourself.” I want to know how you feel, lying in your bed every night. Given the benefit of the doubt, maybe you count your blessings. You’re blessed with a lot of things. Money, good looks, charisma, power, success, respect….. So that means you’re doing this whole living thing correctly, right? You’ve conquered the world’s struggles and emerge victorious. With the privilege of winning comes notoriety and spotlight, and therein lies influence. You tell yourself you’re one of the good ones. You’ll use your high-stake influence to make the world safer and brighter. The republicans, democrats, tea party, lobbyists, them–they can’t be allowed to gain power. They’re derisive. These people will let the world crumble; it’s your duty to hold office and thwart them. You–a watchdog, a beacon. Ignoring its wormy lineage, you let slip those slimy words: “for the greater good.”

I’m not asking you to be superman. I’m asking you to be honest, just once. You don’t know average Joe. You whizzed past him when you graduated summa cum laude. You don’t know the pungency of anger, fresh after discovering your brother’s death in combat. You don’t know how helpless, me, a nineteen year old girl feels when the the president of the united states will not recognize that the calculated murder of 1.5 million Armenians is genocide. You don’t know reality anymore, nor will you return. You know game theory. Maybe once, these sorrows sharpened you, but that’s all been shrouded. You’re blurry with delusions. Hidden in polar ideals. Bandaged with $20 bills, the ones which still endorse Andrew ‘Trail of Tears’ Jackson.

I’m asking you to think about purpose. Think about Ozymandias, king of kings, known only for being forgotten. Think about why 1.5 million deaths is more than a statistic. Think about the vast sums flowing over your desk and pay attention to the cracks of our roots.

Be something more than a placeholder, please.

 

ad infinitum, odysseus

Image

i want to understand the
perpetuation of hatred,
beyond earth’s tremble
 
from my blurred vantage
i say sin is cyclical, we
sift through numbers
like a sailor thirsty for land
drowning in faith
starving for home;
 
one day arriving,
to a singular soul,
leaking subterraneous
and surreptitious,
from mirrors and retraction.
 
maybe verity can quench us
shaking, shifting with wonder
but darkness only tells riddles
 
and while zarathustra speaks
so history goes and
as i’ve so tritely heard
“we’ve had it all along”