And then my heart learned how to salsa

A seashell within outer space, I am:

small within you
great within you
alive within you


In This Recycled House

you lied for
their crutches
which became your crutches
which became you
with a missing face
and blank white slats
and fingers with no prints
and circles of dark brail
that crashed like dominoes
and never broke
but really should have
touched something
more besides holes
of broken knots
holes of words
that drowned
and scraped
like sand

you weren’t the first
of gunpowder
you weren’t

like the mongols
or the ancient
suddenly violent

but you also weren’t
the phantom of
me swaying
from a sudden depth
of time
of the why

i see pictures
before and
and those pictures look like
ugly lilies
and mapped laughs and
how i saw you there
and how i see me
we were here
but i swear

we were never there
quite there.


Your voice
crawled across the bed
and unearthed itself:
a windmill of vectors,
shudders, wrenching into me.
You said it happened when
you were eleven years old.

How ridiculous that a man
would bring his eleven year old
to the railroad tracks
ignoring the way
bullet holes
gouge identity.

You learned cruelty too young,
you confessed, on the second day
an invisible sense of arson
how it crawled in radiant numbers
across the bed. I wonder
if there’s ever a good way to murder,
and if so, can you remain
titanic when you live
a ragged sun.

there’s no clarity in symmetry

i smoke my cigarettes sober and stare

the homeless straight in their eyes
searching beseechingly
for something more than faith
living on fringes, becoming
marginalized, misanthropic
even chaos misunderstands
my composition
one day i get t-boned on a sidewalk
fate hands me answers on a silver platter
locks click into each other as perfectly
as that car which magically assembles its 20,000 parts
in the midst of a wind storm
hope beckons and i follow
but so do questions,
plane crashes,
trust funds, and
wounded buffaloes;

so does
las vegas,
and sandy hook
and absolutes taste bitter on my tongue
yes, the smoke i exhale is honest
but i can’t live in a world without entropy


“You get them w…

“You get them wrong before you meet them, while you’re anticipating meeting them; you get them wrong while you’re with them; and then you go home to tell somebody else about the meeting and you get them all wrong again. Since the same generally goes for them with you, the whole thing is really a dazzling illusion. … The fact remains that getting people right is not what living is all about anyway. It’s getting them wrong that is living, getting them wrong and wrong and wrong and then, on careful reconsideration, getting them wrong again. That’s how we know we’re alive: we’re wrong.”

–Phillip Roth, American Pastoral

Goodness, interrupted.

Sadness is the perfect sentence disappearing the moment you settle to write and the woman telling

you not to let your dog lick your wounds, for in one case it led to infection

and later a gruesome leg amputation. Sadness is the hatred you feel

 with every bite of passion. Sadness is not knowing.

It’s failing to recognize wonder

Seeing only fog reflect back at you

Sadness is a poem read by no one

The inability to ever capture that word

Too much, not enough, silence

Working three months on a paper no one thinks about

Her mail still forwarding to your house precisely three years since she’s been gone.

Guilt in every chamber of your heart

Only in healthy doses, of course

Undeserved thank you’s

The helplessness of addiction

The futility of connection

It’s dissection

Of a soul.

But what are we, without a split?