Too, Love Is

Love is a many legged beast
with too many knees
that turn at odd angles and
scratch with bristles the soft
underbelly of the earth,
living down below the surface
of our insecure home bodies.

It moves weirdly, wildly
stabbing and scrabbling and clinging to places it should never go.
A mind of its own but collectively fleshy,
it likes to say that it lives in our hearts,
but we know the truth,
as we know many lies,
that the cognitive consciousness maintains itself electronically
even if chemicals are all that we have.
It sticks
in our heads
like a smell or a short chorus,
substantial but often without substance.

They say, don’t bury your dying before they’re dead.
Colloquial wisdom would have you wait
and water their souls with your waiting
and watch your waiting self to make sure
you’re not waiting too impatiently or obsequiously.
Just wait until the perfect moment,
take your shovel in hand,
and dig a hole for yourself while you’re down there.

A Wake

The sun rose in my bedroom this morning.
I breathed its ions through a metal framework
of dust and particulate matter of the past,
my past,
our past.
You’ve never been here
but you go everywhere with me.

My room lights by gradients,
red to orange to yellow building gloriously
its fake tints and holy similarity,
my dim lids lipping through flip shows
and gumming the meal of morning.
I am still.
I am awake.
I am still awake.
I never slept.

Is sleep death? You haunt me
day and night. Not a dream
or a nightmare, but present
behind the corner of my eye
in the corner of my room
turning my head,
catching my gaze
but never showing me what you see
what you want me to see.
Where are we?



There is an affect deeper than the sun’s over the horizon of the prairie.

There is a longing wider in the middle than the whole of the ocean from the deck of the fisherman’s boat.

There is a ghost called the past that is more present than my lover’s sighs which mingle with the wind and whip through me unfelt.

I am a monster more egregious than all the bloody teeth in the nightmares of children and the damaged.

We are a mystery cloudier than the distance between this lifetime and the next.

The mind is a problem, and there are no mathematics robust enough to calculate the ways in which I can hang myself from my own cerebellum.


I know the weight of my door
better than I know my own conscience.
I feel the friction of its hinges more
intimately than the tremble of my wrists
that comes from hunger and
neglect. I am always alone
behind my door. I push with precise
force outwards. I contain the contagion
inside this well-worn cell. I know
nothing else will make sense.

I have more experience with doors
than with windows. My room has
one window. I have never opened
it. Is my only hope at knowing you
already rusted closed? My door is
well-greased for easier closing
which is its main purpose. Keeping
myself safe behind wood and lacquer,
I am alone. Without you, I am
alone with you in my closed room.

Something Different

Today I am angry. I reserve this day for my rage. I reserve this space for my sadness, my disappointment, my inability to accept, my “affect”, my scholarly indignation, my human emotions. I have never written in this book for this purpose. I do not intend to make a habit of it. But today, today is different. Today I feel. Today I have nothing but “feelings”. My logic is filtered through the rage that I feel. It’s in me. It is me. Today I am hurt. I am pain. I can be nothing else. I wished to “work” today. Instead, I will “disfunction” as a construct of unsustainable inequality and continual death. Today I will die with the dead. Today I will lie with the interred. Today I will rest in the knowledge that nothing will ever be wholly restful. It’s still spinning. I’m still dying. I won’t ever stop. That’s not true… I will stop dying some day. Once I am dead, there will be no more dying for me. That’s amazing. I’ve never longed for that rest more whole-heartedly.

Western Pennsylvania

More than just coal dust and old racism,
we are a land of concrete and rebar
spread out over rolling hills
and the corpses of forests.

More than just hard hats and cold beds,
we are lost daughters in the back yard
calling out to God, but not too loudly
in case the neighbors should suspect.

More than just slots and numbers,
we are a members-only gambling night
held by the booster club at the PTA meeting,
and the school board always wins.

More than just or evil,
We are complicated
by our pasts and futures,
and as we O.D.
and lick shots
and fade away,
we will live on in this cold earth.

My Lady

My life, my love, my lady is the sea
of brandy. I’ve never had my fill.
I’ve never felt my age as a reality
as she seasons me with her salt
and preserves me with the finest tears
half spilled. I glide over her, barely
touching her, but feeling her strength
as a premonition or a prophecy
of a peaceful home below.

Wine dark and deep, she floats me
with a wash of aromatic waves
that draw me toward a bed
less coarse than my ascetic’s raft.
I am at home among the rollers
and coves she hides inside;
I can’t see them but I know them
as a blind man knows the nodes
of a text written just for him.

I will drown in her and be happy,
sinking into a new life of peace
and eels to play in my bones.
Feed me to the sea and watch me
feed the sea’s creatures with books
I’ve held in my head for lifetimes
come and gone and never really
imagined but felt as a current,
electric and graceful and grave.

My life, my love, my lady is the sea
of whiskey and wine. Drink me
and I will fall into you and be drunk.