Gasoline, gasoline, gasoline
on the sidewalks and in the
air five stories up. Five tales.
A mother is in the kitchen
pressing beets by a window;
the juices run down her wrists,
drop in bright puddles
on the floor.
A few years ago
when the linoleum wasn’t as yellow
she might have pressed
a palm to the window,
flesh distended on the glass,
she would have changed
her dress twice a day,
fluttered –
it is 4:44 when
she raises her hand
in yesterday’s shirt,
in matted hair. But she
lifts her hollow wrists
to her mouth,
and licks away the stain
with all the slow purpose
of a hunter,
sucking the poison out,
or swallowing.

Portraits, Retrospect

Soapstone & Mortar

We’ve been born again
into a lime-green December;
my oracle soul
vows in riddles
to the suburban monarchy.

I cheat.

The lie rises like the mist
in a city you call mine,
I know the darkness between your teeth
better than the cracks in the pavement
outside my home.

I have traded my thief’s smile
for wolf-fangs and a mouth
that sets fire with the cold.

You catch me in the corner,
failing to live,
clutching a beer with my octave-and-ones.
I only survive,
off the flavoured smoke,
the heady scent of lavender
masking the offal
and the grit.

You hold me.

. . . me?
I am soapstone and mortar.
my fingers fast
in my soft hair,
just hard enough to tear paper.


It is hard, you know,
planning out the pulp in chains,
stockings in your lap. It is hard,
my dreamily possessive hands
slow in your rough hair,
my tongue swelling;

It is hard,
and I am soft,
while you are stronger still:
when the heart is strong
the hands are weak,
and flutter against the time.

I take the coward’s way out,
framed in chocolate-lavender,
mild as May and far less temperate,
tracing through the rooftops
of the city you will take,
slipping out the back door
like a rat.


Self-Styled Magdalene

I see you, stretched,
your neck set and quivering, reaching to the heights
of long-dead archduchesses and marchionesses,
trembling with the effort to immortalize.

we all die. Even the happy ones die,
my dear,
pressing the culmination-consolation to your breast,
torn to small pieces and
making it last longer.

I see you, gathered tightly,
the part of your lips
studied with a handheld mirror – the angle, the distance,
all the makings of an amateur mathematician.

wishes and caresses,
crumbling stone queens
written all over the windings and unwindings
of your pyrite hair,
all your deliberate elegance.
I am moved
by something far beyond compassion
with the thought of you tangled in breath with failure,
spending thought and time in dirt.


Almonds and Apricots

There is a quiet, dusty city that lies
trapped between landscapes,
where the corners are littered with almonds
and apricot seeds.
fury that fills clay jars is kept tucked away and hidden

the towns run like the neglected project of a clockmaker.
there are women who predict storms
out of blue skies and lazy breezes;
they hold the romance of fertility
deep beneath the rock.

it is only among the edges of winter
where my city conforms
into a wonderland of pitfalls and ice,
and the past barely holds the covered secret
of the scenery:
Semiramis was cold and indifferent to her lovers
who became mountains
(cold and indifferent mountains)
and trapped a city
in perpetual mourning



Medea’s witch-princess fantasy
inside her pretty head
playing rough with a black cat,
black hair tumbling over her shoulders –
little girl

She becomes a bird cage in my embrace
and her forms become eternal
in herself she’s crafted pain:
every finger, every lash
is rage

And you. Boy of now’s future
disobeys the symmetry of my lines,
who wishes he could live inside
my pretty head,
warm furs

Or look at me, behind bars
clutching these realities with teeth
laughing because you don’t understand.
The joke’s always funnier when it’s
on you

I’ll answer with breath of soot and ash:
my sister is immortal,
my mother is a broken body,
and my father is a child,
a tragedy

Rushing water whispers
it knows the paroxysms of guilt,
it knows the swathed way to escape, and
it knows the back trail of the daggered mind
has fallen


Portraits, Uncategorized


my arms are oustretched. we’re holding up the tinted sky.
it’s hard to chase em
those dreams tied down to the horizon,
balloons of shimmer and smoke that haunt

you’re just
a little burnt at the sides
just a little tinted with char
you’re the melting of heaven
and the running streaks of the sun.

have I ever seen a grass this level of chartreuse
a sky this magnitude of ultramarine

tiger-lily-popsicle-stick all across the world
lick me down all over,
sugary sweet celestial-born.
the sweet is so sweet it is tinted with bitter.

now you wake and yawn, shh not sleeping anymore
pink petals of a mouth clamping shut in a yawn
i dub thee
beholder of the window,
glass tinted and frosted

don’t look now, because the empyrean view is blinding
there are no tints,
there are just tints.
clash at wars with one another.

share a secret sideways smile, draw the curtains.
you knew
the imperfection was far more perfect this way.


Trip The Light Fantastic

scratching, wasting, fading, painting,
saving the world, saving my life,
tell me that I’m wrong little bullet,
go away
become a dream of a mere happening or a savoury
you’re worth

something and a stammer

and a risk at fortunity. destroy  my luck.


Airburst force of participation, close-up of a special proposition. There’s nothing better than liquid destruction except maybe you know powder corruption.

you’re my only fetish, honey.


[don’t you love the way i knead you]


Ajax is watching every single installation of air

with intent and eager blue-grey brown-green sunfire eyes.

(fire and ice have nothing on us
we’re unstoppable)


Broadcast the elements and lead them into a pipe of war!

Dou BLE you Dou BLE me
into the kaleidoscope we go, out of the smiling girl’s microphone.


Time warp stops the flow of go yes go no go why go STOP go


yeah baby I’m a dreamer.


She is butterscotch

She is butterscotch,
this milky girl.

One white arm comes around
to settle on the soft curve
of her waist, and her dark head
to the right.

She watches herself
with black amber eyes.

The reflection passes,
tolerable in those eyes,
but the disappointment gathers
a porcelain wrinkle
in the middle of her forehead.

She, royalty in the blood,
demands excellence
and nothing less.

I imagine it is hard for men
not to clamour for her attention,
the glance that sweeps lash
against cheek,
the smile
dimpling sweet patience;
a laugh that startles
with the easy grace
of a decade of childhood,
carefree and yet
care full.

There is too much beauty,
so much gloss
in one single girl.

And all wonder.




She was tender,
the sweetest child.

Large dark eyes (honey in a jar),
chestnut hair
curling to a bob underneath
her lily-white chin,
pointed up
in a question.

Her eyes and hand could make the Truth
and she’d break it
with another leaping laugh.

She loved Fun
and Games
and playing with her dolls,
running her brush so often in
their hair that it would frizz,
curl up.

She would pretend to be a Mermaid,
a Princess
a Beggar-Girl
a Fairy.

She was everything,
in a tiny tender child
before running off,
something of the Mermaid,
the Princess,
the Beggar-Girl,
the Fairy
in her steps,
and her voice,
and her gaze.



here’s a sea of painted faces,
painted nails
hung on wooden crosses,
wooden frames

bruised believers on hot tables,
hot sand and wind
the difference lies between
spring water and iced tea,

and a compass pointing east
intruders lay expolosions
and lift the tongues of whales
do you have to see it to believe it?
or is blindness cured with faith

money clinking, faces changing,
too scared to scorn,
too proud to hope
stuck on surfaces for decades
in an in-between parade

Introspect, Portraits

Black Mirror

just a little taste,
put it on my tongue,
let me feel it, let me understand.
the difference between one mirror
and two:
one thousand reflections.

had you held up a mirror
to the crimes you’ve committed,
in the cycle of your past,
on a black surface of obsidian, molten rock,
translucent ebony, the twisted devil’s nail,
you’d only see the shadows
of doubt,
shining white against your eyes.

do you share the dimensional power
that flows,
moon blood,
from the calm?