Quit your job
Take the money and run
As far as you can get.
I mean far away
Not this hour-distance dance
with proximity, she is a deceitful partner
Give me a cup of hot coffee please
Something for this headache
I got a pretty raw deal
Everyone says God…
“I will be a new threshing instrumentwith many sharp teeth.I will tear my enemies apart,making chaff of mountains.I will toss them into the air,And the wind will blow them all away;A whirlwind will scatter them.” —Isaiah 41: 15-17
My father is…
“Seasons are always changing. What season are you in?”
I am in a season of “fuck you, you don’t
so stop trying right there
right where you are.
Stop and don’t get any closer.
I am a dragon swallowing my fire.
The birds are calling
Every song beckoning
Every chirp an invitation
They do not drift to the past
Or float along the seas to the future
They exist for this moment alone
Just this tiny offering
The sound of my footfall on the dry grass
The tide is rolling in
Sea foam bubbles like dish soap residue
The waves look black not blue
I wander and though the wind rages and I am cold
I am alive
A maze of trees beckons me enter
flanked by holly, a garden gate.
I am not…
I learned to take my body back
use it in ways you couldn’t
wrap it in beautiful poses twisted
instead of tied in horrible knots
my insides dripping out
onto the floor
over and over
Too Much Again
I keep a shard of glass
tucked in the back of a drawer
it all becomes
(c) LSP Fine Art + Studio LeRoi
Somewhere Far Away
It’s the dog days of summer
The crepe myrtles are in bloom
Shining their pinks to
Anyone who should care to look
Black-eyed Susans stare intently
At twilight’s last gleaming
It’s the blue hour
Clear and mad and repeating
The same song you’ve known
Since the beginning
Purple coneflower, butterfly…
Sometimes when I look in the mirror
I see my father’s body reflected back
The same muscled arms
Skin browned from summer sun
Legs taut from constant activity
Restless soul walking the same earth
Playing out the same story
Generation after generation
Stone upon stone.
But not looking doesn’t have…
I certainly hope you do not and will not meet your demise under a pile of books unless of course there’s an earthquake or many little earthquakes, tiny earthquakes shaking the tiny bit of ground they have because God damn it it’s theirs and what’s the point of living anyway…
Tabula Rasa Then the Rest
The secrets I carry are not my own
They were glued to my body by my mother
with Rubber Cement glue
to match the cement galoshes
weighing down the body
as it struggles to tread water in the ocean.
Another wave crests and pushes our face
our head under water.…
Not the Story
The lake, flowing freely like an infinity pool
bending back on itself
curving figures, carving eights.
It hypnotizes, swells when you consider:
the depths, its depths, your depths.
You plumb the depths with purpose
probing and examining where you’ve been
in order to draw a map to where you’re going.…
Does the Camera Lie
Does the camera lie
or does it tell the whole fat
ugly truth from soup to nuts
then back to soup again?
The camera tells the whole truth
and nothing but the truth
so help us God
close your eyes and close your gates
Only neutral expressions welcome here
Call It Love
What is it like to only have one set of memories?
One point of view rising clearly above the rest?
I do not know the words for any of this
other than heartbreak, repeat
The years pass and little changes
The same abrasions, bruises bloom
The same blood bleeds anew,…
My bare feet hit the pavement of the sidewalk, hard, heart pounding, going somewhere, going nowhere? It’s cold. Below freezing in February. There’s glass all over the sidewalk, shattered like the squares of a crossword puzzle. The sudden pain in my lower back causes me to stumble, but there’s no…
We share leftover spaghetti on the floor
I spill sauce on my tights
and beer on your rug.
but you shoo it away—
the whole night is an apology
for the body,
the fugue of self-hatred
descending, the marriage
of you and me and her.
She hangs heavy…
I love you.
I’m sorry we don’t get along better.
Why have you always been so far away?
I need you.
I need your kindness and affection.
I need your encouragements and reassurances.
I need you to tell me everything is okay and mean it.
I need you to…
Stephanie in Bloom
The last time we were together you held me down, squeezed my wrists until purple roses bloomed. There’s only space to write about us in the margins now. The world has become more fractured, more confused. My grief is my art. My gift is my pain. I wrap it in…
My Blackbird Heart
i have been looking for you
in photographs from my childhood.
i see pictures of me
i am contained,
living inside the aviary you built
for my blackbird heart
soaring only as high as you deemed
seeing the world from the bottom of…
One Week in July
Aujourd’hui, maman est morte — Albert Camus
I. Forty Minutes to Goodbye
You drive the familiar roads home
but there’s nothing
familiar about them this time:
home is a fleeting place.
You drive faster, wanting to
put it all behind you
wake up 20 years later instead,
not knowing the…
The things we do in secret
to prepare for the Apocalypse
I have always known the ending
carry the same evil inside my body
injected by my ______’s penis
five or six years old
the same evil Uncle Sam
is pumping into your children
I demand awakening through the
Heaven is Blurry
Heaven is blurrylike the window far off in the porcelain’s reflection
promises of peace like the beat of your heart heartbeat echoing in my ear lulling the body back to life.
A Living Sacrifice
You asked whether
All the king’s horses
And all the king’s men
Could ever put the Stephanie back together again
Sometimes that’s the point of healing
And sometimes it’s not
Every system is different
I run a boarding house for divergent emotions
Inside my body
No matches, sharps,…
A Woman’s Body
you think it will never happen again
you step off the shore
you are vanishing
while around you
the darkness coming down
a woman’s body
floating around in the darkness
your soul won’t listen
so you relax
you don’t fight it anymore
your throat swells
as it beats…
to begin again
knowing what we do now
a quiet hope
shards of light
in Mason jars
the scream always dying in your throat
when nights were long
lying at the top of the stairs
listening for it to be over