Come (poem #17)

If you get close enough, you’ll smell my masturbation mixed with sandalwood.

You’ll smell years of regret and sweetness in the cracks.

If you get close enough, I’ll leave and separate the view you have of me and eat it.

I don’t know what I’m doing anymore, it feels like living,

but it fell from somewhere else.

I am decapitated and screaming, I am bloodless/aching,

But mostly, I am ceremony.

Hear me pray your thoughts back to communion.

I’m not even Catholic, but I feel the two thousand years of ruination of what should’ve been a simple book of funny explanations. 

You’re only here and gone, what’s in-between is…

—it belongs to all the things you’ve bought.

The house.

Your friends. 

Your drugs.

Your gaping mouth.

The cigarettes.

Your worth in clothes and sex.

No one will remember your pussy if they can’t even remember your name. 

I say this lovingly because you are a sacrifice.

A smile stretched out, 

no one is pink when they’re held by the throat.

No one perspires by candlelight, they melt.

No one burns in urgency, they thaw in rest.

Escape into mediocrity.

miasma (poem #15)

I never knew how to breathe before you.

I only knew how to inhale 

and exhale without purpose, without thought.

I always spoke as an assault.

I have swayed when my heart worried,

came right back to the tide, and the breeze—

I am not a romantic, 

I am a brute, 

quarantined.

I have never loved correctly. 

I have done what most cowards do, 

become a mute. 

In my breath now,

I catch purpose, 

I leap in sorrow 

and the universe

soughs in approval.  

keeps him humble (poem #14)

In Los Angeles, 

they call drizzles, storms.

The storms,

 are usually people in line 

for a honeybaked ham during Easter.

But really, it’s all days and every Holiday.

People love being around each other, if only to ignore.

I get a smile now and again, usually at work

from married men carrying a newborn, while

mom is off trying to find something sexy to read.

Meanwhile, he tells me how much he’s enjoying

being a dad, as if I am in need of a father.

Does he see my deficiency?

I puff up, show my smile and chipped teeth—

shoulders heavy.

Hands outstretched, I’m unclenched,

knives in my laugh—

he feels this, laughs nervously, 

like rats do, 

his wife

a precious lonely tired thing I cradle in my arms of books.

I recommend all kinds, make him pay, she apologizes

and I say—

he loves you, right?

he agrees and folds away.

sweet memory of soil (poem #13)

My grandma died on April 9th.

Not sure of the year.

All I know is that a death rattle is real,

and that when a body begins to die, 

it eats itself.

Each time I’d visit, 

she’d turn more and more into a corpse.

Her cataracts turned her brown eyes

into a milky gelatin.

She never ate much, 

we always worried 

when she’d leave 

half her plate

of food, 

“you need to eat,” we’d say—

“I’m full,” she’d answer

Stomach cancer ate her small intestine.

She withered as thin as a wafer.

I’d watch her rub her belly 

each night 

before she’d go to bed.

The day before she died, she

called me over to her—

told me to get as close 

as I could stand it.

She was blind by then.

She said sometimes, 

small lines would form the shape

of something

like a head, 

or a smile

inside her eyes.

She wrapped her cold fingers on my warm face, 

kept them there and cried,

begged for my forgiveness

told me I was beautiful.

“I’ll wait for you,” she said.

I nodded in her hands.

replaced and replaced (poem #12)

i was pregnant once, maybe thrice.

i think most women carry children in them,

even if they’ve never fucked.

these children scream, 

chaotic wails in the craters of their teeth,

in the cleft of their eyes.

yes, i realize i say this all the time.

men get pregnant too, 

only their children resemble fists.

the women then, 

with their mouths and teeth and eyes, 

erect a church to baptize all these children in. 

they sing hymns as they carry all the weight of insufficiency.

they murmur hate in the key of misery.

haven’t you heard that self-sabotage is a conspiracy?

none of this is real.

you were never here.

like the smell of a corpse flower (poem #11)

[the fascination with Satan in the 90’s
is how fascinated I am 
with how easy it will be
to forget 
celebrities if we are to keep these masks on our faces indefinitely, or will we?]

it also reminds me how grateful I am
for the ability to envy beauty 
yet remain completely unattractive, —I mean unattached.

imagine all the people it would take to fill the void inside a beautiful gaping body?
imagine how desperate we all feel collectively at this moment?
imagine all the things we’d be doing if none of this would’ve happened?
imagine how stupid we’d look?
imagine how stupid we’ve been?
imagine?

a certain possession of freedom (poem #10)

I crave a suckling mouth on my breast some months
I crave the attention I could only imagine a child gives
At my age, there are other things I should be craving
Like a good dentist
A savings account
A phone full of pictures in some country where no one looks like me
But, when I get this strange pull to finally
See
Why my mother failed so miserably at loving me
I remember her advice to me

stay free

lay down (poem #9)

I bite down on sweet fruit, 

is it morning breakfast/lunch/dinner/who knows—is it night?

I want to bite down on my own lip, 

so hard, that it 

births more mouths

that I can use to speak—

I want blood to drip in the breeze,

infect the many that can taste what it tastes like, to be me—

me, me me me me me me-

me

me

me me me, me      me

me me me me ; me

me

me

what a strange life we’ve bitten down on now,

strange wild meat 

cries 

in the belly 

of a host

that doesn’t 

feel or know or 

care 

how much the world it lives in,

has changed/

I go to sleep.

Sleep.

Imagine that this is all a dream.

no small disaster (poem #8)

Window shopping online:

Rating: *

Review for a watering can to water my 17 indoor plants—

Jamillah from Encino says:

“The watercan leaks and rusts. 

It looks pretty but it does not hold water well.” 

Nothing is made to last, and soup is the best dish I know how to make. 

It is nourishment built on what you already have.

Leftovers.

Use what you’ve already used, and make it new.

My favorite soup to make is lentil soup. 

Lentils are lenses, hence the name.

Edible rays of light.

Curved planes.

Glasses.

Eyes.

Little eyes, watching me. 

I hate being watched while I cook.

But there they are, abundant little fucks, plumping in the hot soup.

Nourishment. 

from Latin 

nutrire to suckle; –

akin to Greek nan 

to flow, –

noteros damp, 

Sanskrit snauti

it drips

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 leftover smoked ham bone you ordered from Honeybaked Ham because you’re a privileged piece of shit
  • 1 pound lentils (about 2 1/2 cups), picked and rinsed cause that’s the way my momma beat it into me
  • 1 1/2 onions, chopped coarse, no need to make em’ pretty
  • 1/2 a large cabbage
  • 1 cup chopped carrot
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 9 tbsp tomato chicken bouillon broth, this is the secret, you’re welcome
  • 1 tsp organic garlic powder
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 8 cups water

PREPARATION

  • In a 6- to 8-quart pot combine all ingredients and simmer soup, covered partially, stirring occasionally, 1 1/2 hours, maybe—just pay attention to it, like it’s a man you want, but can’t have. Taste it, like you want to be tasted but aren’t. Remove meat from bone. Chop meat aggressively and stir into soup.

Eat.

Nourish.

Repeat.