Viewing entries in
memory & time

after manners of the savages, formosa 1928

after manners of the savages, formosa 1928

the whites of your feathers and the roundness of your symmetries

the skyblue adornments as backdrop and accessory,

the thatched dwelling harmonious, linear, with purer purpose

 

the fresh pink of your crown and the bands at your knees, 

the cheekbones of sepia and the ligaments strong,

the black wraps on your bodies more essence than black sand beneath

 

the beads of color indicative, long, the clasp to hold longer,

the stripes with intent, stitched for time and its passages,

the feet adapted, the shoulders back, the stares the proudest of all

 

if these are the manners stamped as savage in sand a century before, how do our

meticulous sound systems,

bamboo attempts at fortitude,

synthetic searches for safety,

frond waving sinews of exhaustion,

feminist proclivities,

widening pupillary ethereality, and

dulled with dirt ersatz adornments

on the gods' manicured hills

have room for the way we choose to bend?

dissociative daughter

her, self, immersed in water, lost in float

the mother scours island; fugue state or worse?

 

all homes of prayer for silence, sand on floor

liminality in paradise; any corner’s a chance

what would Ovid have to say today?

still each enclave, cavern, cove

recalls the melted bones of Echo.

women now would hardly be

mythologically relevant once resolved

to sobbing into rotting.

 

still nature’s incessant longing:

lingering speech acts, howls, screams,

and moans recall a Nympha forever

dejected on all remaining forest floors.

 

as we with screen glance at self

in either black reflect reality, or checking

mechanistically the virtual imprint

of words we chose more carefully—

knowing the staying power of impact.

 

how would Ovid poetically differ

these reverberations, too, out of physical reach

from those he morally cautioned of a metamorphosis?

 

how is Narcissus any worse than us?

if not in mirror blankness, then in social

media portrayal, avatar, or influencing verbal

thrusts toward eternal self-conscious inadequacy

devolved to ego stroking lust or hashtag competency?

 

just because our reflections fit in palm,

on desktop, and in lap, does not make our

stance and angles chose any better than the rot

and flowers they’ve been warning us about

for centuries.

catch up

i find swing sets

it’s a thing i've always loved because it’s easy to control

but it’s fake freedom with chains and steel at the root, and the grip must be tight,

and your heels must eventually dig a bit, less graceful than perhaps you envision,

and so I make a scene each time

 

and seats outside

with women i have loved and love me back

become swing sets sought after behind more steel in less locations over longer stretches of time

 

the distance and time are measurements i prefer not;

those have been cliche since before we had grey hairs,

since before we had comments on the grey hairs,

since before we even knew what they would really fucking feel like in our hands.

 

the heights we look up to together became larger than our own;

we know we cannot feed each other’s wishes,

so we can crane our necks to see specks of people,

and we can tell each other all the disgusting layers of insecurity we accept;

we wash it down on collapsible tables because despite grey hairs, we still don’t call ahead for reservations

 

we speak of polyamory and jealousy and unwanted attention from wanted wells,

we speak of visas and how much power we have to get them,

we speak of our empty wombs and how much power we will need to maintain,

to keep them so—

 

some call us brave,

because we aren’t little specks with velocity and neck breaks,

we are here

and we are close

but we don’t hug anywhere near enough

and the fancy bathtub in the morning was impossible to use.

 

I want my swing set back

and it makes me break my spine to let out loud cries

on a tarmac

as warm water still spills on never been used white lies.

'leaves' in reverse

just as you bend for me – i refuse you; cervix closed and low

just as I bend for you my love – backwards on your used, used...[climax]

like a Muslim bending down – you scratch at traditional molds

wind bending its devoted bough – breathing death wasps into velvet bedroom skies

blowing my blood smooth and cold – melting coolness past the rough

wind bending the bough – exhaling dirge

wind shaking the leaves – vibrating each lash

pink streaking the hill – pillow parts winding a willow path

each blank thing begun – clean sheets as erasure

known how to open it – envelope folds tight at the corners

on my soul had I – in my maze inside

have been water – wetness was once

of a work that might – the only job that could

were the author – be a creator

sitting opposite me – parks at the foot of the bed

whether the person – no matter the other

I not know – identity not withstanding

did I know or did – was it sketched or etched

to cover me – under safe weight on exposed skin

for me and made – personalized and sent

filled with bugs made - living crawling sewn in each thread

a nightlike color – if midnight was orange

hidden in it – the stars would hide

men standing in it – men in quicksand

exuded by the three – abundant times redundancy

a green place – a lush reprieve

I saw skulls and then brains – seeking bones and inside

 

- after “leaves” by ariana reines (p.132 in mercury)