If I were married

If I were married three times
I would ruin every man
The third man
would be a lark
tied to a tree
fed sickly sap
Coated in my sugar

When he dies in amber
And writes songs
about our break
I would write:

To love meant to touch him
into an ordinary man
When beyond
He was extraordinary

We never write
for the people we love
This is reason enough

People are made strange
with soundless footsteps
around their love
No longer friend to the world

in white, plaster, scenes
their shadows grow small
Yours in the extreme corner
of the house
where your heel once rested
while we made love
Shadows that stretch and rip
to be free

The man was denied his talents
Used to grip
Like saddle



It was my father
Young flesh, full mop of hair

He came as a ghost I thought
As I sat in a cafe
Hopefully in Amsterdam,
in likeness of the aunt I’ve never met,
Hopefully not escaped from some institution
An old woman, finally contended
I, almost a hundred
And he, thirty four years old
Smiling, determined, dexterous dad

Once I was only four
Wandering through sand parks
Standing for pictures
in front of ornate fountains
Fighting to sit on a stone dragon

I remember a swing
strung up in the middle of two rooms
Only the stuffed bear
was light enough to ride

My childhood was parks
And black tea
I wore heeled sandals with crests
Toddler queen of Asia
Climbing rock walls decorated with sea horses
Dressed in ornaments
(perhaps a skirt was the wrong choice
for this sandstone sea monster-
my thighs scraping)
Always the little lady

Later, a tramp, perhaps
Same frivolous looks
But memory is a coral reef
A deep but naturally open origin
First life, right before its last breath,
remembers most vividly its beginning
Everything else is haughty swallows of air
and diffused exclamations in an
already unfaltering ocean

I see myself pressing dough into stars
I tell dad, as we sip tea
I see brown specs
from staring at the sun
And telling you
that I pooped that morning

Still, I see little now
Because I have completely forgotten
the language that used to inform my thoughts then
But when I am at the close
Turned to spongy skin
and become
part of the heart beat of time
through modest squeeze and swelling
Brief blubs of air
I will know all from that time
And how my heart had already broken
in ways it would repeatedly break later
(A life is the same patterns, running like film
that eventually ignites; burns inside the cylinder.)

You always come to the party

You always come to the party
A stone face liar
Dragging your wrists
Lips pale
Pinned up dress
Sixty bodies
to make one nail polish

I wink
You bounce your tongue
off the roof of your mouth

I shoulda called first
An incongruous crackle
Then steady and slow hits
Ringing up Hades
But the hell hounds
Make the click sounds too loud
Like gold heels on marble
across the floor
Wrapping me in a cocoon

I don’t like to go down slides
Every time I call
I hear a tapping on your end
Each beat a new fly dead
so you can have some
for dinner

I know how you look
In the dirty
Makeup off
Bloody veined bride
On the brown couch
stuffing face

It’s not a party favor I know
but I sink so easy
and you’re so heavy
I promise that later
We can do our thing
We can sit on the rooftop edge
of a high rise

The Head of the Organization

Mysterious organ music
was playing in the halls

I was looking for Serge
The head of the organization
Who once told me all fires
Start far away
And are carried over time
By red sandstorms
Out of ordinary looking mouths

I once caught some in the eyes
And had to wash my face
Four times a day
Until I developed a rash
And they took me to the labs
In the leaning glass building
Elizabeth Taylor’s dermatologist
Worked on me for two days

That was before
Before they gave me a mask
One for every day of the week
To wear for the foreign ministers

I was being promoted
And eyed by two men
Both the same smooth face
Manufactured by Serge
Picked by his Hollywood producers
All goons are plainly pretty

I received a lipstick
One end was the knife
Only for play it seemed
A joke dismissal
The other a note
From the viola player informant
Who only ever meets me
In the tea cup ride

Leaving, I spied in a corridor
A dark woman
Glowing under a ceiling trap window
A nose too big
A mouth too small
She was playing the organ
Her foot tapping to my heart beat

A woman among girls

Don’t you dare
I have to write on my hand

Don’t coat yourself in glitter
Put tassels on your tits
And blow spit kisses

Don’t pick up that last piece
Of scrap paper
And write love notes
to your neighbors

The party on the thirteenth floor
Is really just a bunch of
stoned flogged heads on sticks
And they’re chanting
To Jones
the boss of the oracle

The one that predicted
I shouldn’t buy
do-it yourself silicone implants
from China

But couldn’t tell me
I was a woman among girls
A sea foam orator of purple nipples
And stretchy thong strings

The throne master
The whip stripper
The pretty girl in the champagne glass
Not the one in pink
In red, ladies and gents

I’m not dancing
On ropes
In ballet slippers
and wrapped in shrapnel
To get away from the Tigers
I’m romancing them
So don’t worry about me

Chris and I write a poem

There is a seductive door
That slaps my ass on the way out
I put a sticky note on the door
Seductive door labeled
Do not touch

We used a hanger to keep it open
Only now we can see
Into the dirty laundry room
where there are piles of underwear
like mountains of Vesuvius
erupting with pumice and dead skin
from two week’s old socks
nestled in porny white marks

I can’t go in the basement anymore
Even though I live in the basement
There might be gnomes
working away
“Don’t touch the door please,”
They will say matter-of-factly
Picking out rubies
amongst the underwear

All I ever find
are pinkie rings
receipts from
No Frills
And lost notes
from lost relatives