la poema necesita

If only we could treat the ones we have in our lives,
the ones we love in our lives,
the way we treat our favorite poems

Worrying over favorite lines, with furrowed brows
Trying to understand,
that which can never be learned
that which has a meaning mercurial
changing every time

dodging full comprehension
the way fish slip out
of even the strongest hands
into water, glinting

To search without end,
and return to forever
To show others–
Look at this turn of phrase,
look at this exquisite word
picked and burnished
set apart
from all the others

Never to learn you, only by heart,
your depths unconquerable
by any mind
Trusting we can know nothing with certainty
but always trying

babble

We need to invent another language together.
Can you do that for me?
Can we construct our own indestructible tower
of words undefilable
words that are joy shout and YESSS
Because as it stands, you tell me
You like me

I translate:
I like power over you

You tell me you have thought about us being together
And I wonder how many other women perfume your mind,
our legs entwining in your nucleus accummmmmmbens
You tell me my body is perfect, made for you
I translate:
I own you.

I know you tell others the same,
Assembling parts of our perfect bodies
to use interchangeably
A fraternity dream on your hippoCampus
You tell me Always with enough uncertainty that
I translate: Always,
be afraid that I will leave you

You ask me Do you love me?
I translate:
How much of yourself would you kill for me?
A boy is funny, sweet, maybe even Good
He tells me he likes me
And I need to throw up.
There are no clean words anymore.
In order to continue,
we need another way,
of speaking love– that vile and defiled word
You can’t call me baby
I’m going to need another nickname- may I suggest, woman.
Show less certainty in your feelings,
the only action I believe is hesitation
You know what, on second thought
we are going to have to do away with forever and trust altogether
And we can’t hug, we can’t cuddle,
We definitely can’t fuck.
Maybe we can vroomf , blurffle, and grumck instead.
Even safety and comfort I am uncomfortable with.
You tell me,
I love you

I translate:
I will abuse you

fully operational

Inhaling and exhaling sleep in some dark corner, I was muttering deep in a cavernous slumber when you tore me outside of myself. I could hear your void before I surfaced. You mistook my emptiness for loneliness, and followed me around, looked at me with love or at least some expectation of it, as if I could respond, as if I am dependable, fully operational. I tried to shake you, tried to circle around, swim in broad strokes with my back turned to you. I even ran away, numbed myself to your advances,  took all the back roads. But step for step, you matched, found, and stayed with me. Maybe this is what love is, I don’t know. Someone who doesn’t leave, even when you want them to. Someone who keeps pace, who is as restless, exhaustive and exhausted, as tired as you.

how to get over a breakup

I think what you need to do is a 7-day juice cleanse, and to eat only organic foods…lots of bulgur wheat, tamarind rind, and soft overripe persimmon. You need to take care of yourself since no one else seems to be up for the job!

You may want to dissipate, becoming nothing so your outside can match how you feel on the inside. This is a difficult option and I can’t recommend it. But if you feel like you need to dissipate, do a combination of hot yoga, soul cycle, and starvation. This way, you can slowly wither away. Your calves will become as narrow as your ankles and your skin will grow leathery like a bike seat left out for too many seasons with stuffing falling out of it.

As for the erasure of your soul and identity, it’s pretty simple. Marie Kondo that shit! Turn yourself inside out and gently shake contents. Assess what is necessary to the makeup of your person. If you didn’t bring them joy, you probably won’t bring someone else joy so caramelize your body like a banana with tanning oil, and flay yourself. If that’s too violent for you, just do, say, and think everything you’ve never done, said, or thought. Become someone completely different, someone this could never have happened to.

Try to have a good support group…maybe 4 or 5 friends to text you mechanically every day what a wonderful person you are you don’t deserve what has happened to you it isn’t you it’s them I love you so much you’ll find someone else so soon I’m here for you whenever you need me. Cycle to the next friend once the disinterest and frustration at your inability to get over this whole heartbreak thing becomes visible in the subtext of their texting.

Try to fill at least 3 moleskins with pathetic questions along the lines of did he/she ever love me? Why did this happen? How long will this pain last? Fill your head with doubts and insecurities about the kind of person you are and what you could have done better. Constantly look for things you did wrong…be curious!…explore and figure out why you aren’t loveable. Cease to be a person, and instead seek to be a large mass of unanswered questions gnawing voraciously at itself for some kind of moral lesson or self-knowledge.

You have to take up a kind of mental running to outrun the memories, the now- living nightmares of your shared past. It will be like trying to outrun the sun or your own shadow. You will have to leave parts of your mind and heart behind you as you run, next to urine-soaked couch cushions and dilapidated chairs on the sidewalk.

Or maybe you are going to want to sleep with a bunch of people soon after to cleanse yourself and to feel close to someone, desirable to someone, anyone at all. Make sure you squeeze your eyes really tight and try your best not to cry the first couple times someone else touches you, not to cringe the first time someone kisses you, because that would be really awkward for them and they don’t deserve that and this is just your life now so grow the fuck up and try to make as many new painful memories as possible to forget about the current ones.

And don’t fall in love with any of these new people. You don’t mean anything to them, you could be anyone to them. Just like everyone else, they will lose interest as soon as they know you a little better, once they see that you are no longer a person, but a gaping aching hole of need, wounded, raw, and freshly salted.

The most important thing I can suggest for you is to let your sadness expand like hair underwater…let it branch out, weave in,  and cocoon you in a bleak palace of cool shade. Sit in a treehouse of your own grief, allow the maggots of time to wear away the branches, and let the numb and the hot and the sorrow project infinitely until they lose color and cohesion.

The hold will weaken, the tape in the projector will slowly strip itself from overuse, and I promise that one day you will find that you crave again the warmth of the sun on your face, and you will turn over.

Los Angeles

how do the palm trees
snake themselves up,
unerring, so sure
of their path
from one source
to the other

this city is so sexy,
all manner of furry and warm
Manzanita and mugwort
shoved up
jammed in
any empty space
confusing presence
for life
suckulents, shopping carts, bums
blooming in all corners
you can smell them
before you see them

the palm trees don’t know
the stars are not above in this town,
they are below
teetering in ripped jeans
with green juiced veins

this city is so lonely
broken, but relaxed about it
I type this poem to the soundtrack
of LA, outside my window
in West Hollowood
the soft scratching
of sagebrush on my door
the soft clinking music
of glass by a man outside
trying to find what is necessary
before the trash guys come tomorrow

this city is so sexy and lonely
fertile and fetid
a slow dilation of cigarette smoke
blown by the sexiest girl
with no teeth you’ve ever seen.

presently,

I am tearing you from my skin, because that is the only way that I can keep living. I am trying my best not to rip off large swaths of myself as I do this, so enmeshed did I let myself become in you. My hands which once shook from tenderness now shake from the messy and painful work of picking apart our togetherness, trying to separate what is you, and what is me. Let me ask- 
a) How do you tear off memory? I wake in the early morning and it takes me a few minutes to remember you are lost to me, in some vast sea I can’t get to. I beat my head against this truth the way waves unendingly throw themselves against rocks.                                         
b) I think I smell you, your sharp acrid tang on the street and follow a stranger for blocks, helplessly inhaling him, a street prophet I hope will lead me to you.              
c) How do you tear off sight? When I open my eyes, they only see your absence in every frame, and when I close them, the phosphenes dance and merge to form your shadow. When will you blur, fade into the periphery of my sight, my thoughts?
d) How do you tear off sound from a body…tear off the light crackling hum in the air, a magnetic charge given off by the gentle thrum of our bodies, who knew how to be together before we did.      
How do you tear off love without mutilating yourself? 

commitment

Yes, people are always surprised when I tell them I have commitment issues. You? They ask? You’ve been in so many relationships for long durations of time, and you’re never the one to leave or cheat. Precisely, I say. I lack the ability to commit to myself. I uproot my real, living and breathing body to be someone’s shadow. I liquefy my self so I can want what they want, eat what they eat, be whoever they need me to be, which is usually just another version of themselves. I know this, but knowing doesn’t seem to help; I’m not committed to what I know or learn. So you see, I have commitment issues. Even now, I can hardly wait to find someone who will let me peel off my skin and adhere.

running

After three long years, I step into my old shoes. I feel the warm humidity hugging me close, the gentle slap-slap of my ponytail on my back, caressing my shoulders. My feet swing ahead on the curved road, grabbing, releasing, marveling. I free my arms, feel my breathing slowing. I hear the birds, the high wind whistling faintly, the crunching of dry grass. Salt slowly gathers on my arms, in my eyes as I sweat in gratitude for this meditation through movement. I watch the sun blaze out over the lake, clouds violently trying to robe her. I smell my citrus shampoo, a neighbor’s barbecue, the muggy exhaust from passing cars and sweet honeysuckle. I see lush greens, maniacal sprinklers, and baby ducks learning what is natural to them. I am also learning what is natural to me, buoyed by a rhythm beyond my control. I am arriving at something close to heritage, or at least a continuation. When I’m going fast enough, I can hear my heart louder than anything else, feel it slamming against my ribcage, relentlessly living past my insistence it is broken.

GRWM

I pirouette my left eye and pop it out of it’s socket,
I stomp my feet repeatedly as if on grapes,
crushing them until the ground is sodden, toenails disintegrating in the pulp of my toes
I peel the skin off my shins, my forearms
they come off in long skinny strips, string cheese ribbons
I file away the flesh on my thighs, my cheeks,
the bone underneath unimpressive, dulled by terra cotta inlets
I slice off my cheekbones in appropriate portions
whittle my chin and tear off the tender chewy flesh of my ears
without skin, my hips are a rusting swivel chair
with a rope of matted hair gently laid over it,
I burn the excess, grate all the bones to dust, and blow
finally achieving
a body pure, efficient
scaffolding, holy
and advancing
a light dimly shining in my right eye
until a giant pair of hands
somewhere far away
claps off

 

Rhodopis, a myth

[I wrote this myth as a companion to Strauss’s Alpine Symphony]

Each star undrapes itself, suspended in jelly dust, unseeing as the day ends it’s performance. The curtain lowers, the button is silently pressed and the squid queen opens her legs, black ink shuffling out, covering the night, unspooling like small spiders scribbling black silk over every bit of sky. As the night bleeds, each star unfreezes, wrenching from its’ cold prism cabin, waiting.
He strikes a new match signaling the change and lights the first horse on fire. Fanning the flames, hundreds of horses awaken with fire in their bellies, tossing their fiery manes, their legs restless, their desire only to run, their singsong neighs populate the entire sky and they stamp heat into the core of the earth.
The horses siphon the spidery ink, inhaling the night as they run across the planets, their haunches taut, glowing coals in their underbelly, clouds leaping under them in waves.
She has been running for centuries but this gift is too much to bear, she stumbles… all hundred horses falling, disastrous domino effect, and in their place, the woman who houses them all, the one who dances and runs in fire, now woman, now sewn body of horses.
Covered in ash and soot, she faces the cold star-gods and Helios her titan and love, the one who pushes her on with whip and chains her to his chariot. She pleads to stop for a moment, a few thousand years. Take a break from this thing she was made for, this running she was born to do, lighting up the sky for all below to live and love by. Her incandescence a burden, her arms staggering under the weight of light she was born with. The star-gods numb to her request, Helios urges her on, the chariot and chains gouging her leathery skin, buckling her knees as she grovels for her freedom, the inky spiders escaping her nostrils as she sobs. A terrible night envelopes the world in her tears, a night multiplied uncontrollably…ebony tentacles perfuming the sky allowing her to slip away through the chains, through the clouds, falling to earth. Landing on desolate land, everything hushed, only the lonely croak of a bird or a frozen pipe creaking, everything impotent in this darkness.
The crawling spiders of night amass as the squid queen covers Rhodopis with darkness, shielding her from the star-gods cruel gaze, from Helios’ heavy chains. Rhodopis, finally free, shivers with pleasure, but feels spiders congealing over her eyes, limbs and heartbeat deadening as the squid queen does more than cover and protect her, as the tentacles probe her body and mind. She struggles fiercely to free herself from the thousands of spiders webbing her in, suffocating and stifling her. The squid queen shrieks, retreats as if by a sieve, her inky exhaust fumes evaporating with her, leaving Rhodopis naked to the star-gods and Helios.
She staggers upright, stumbling for shelter, a train of her own listless bowels dragging on the ground behind her. The horses in her awaken as the coal drops from her bowels, sodden miscarriages of matter and ash left on the farmland. She is emptied, lighter than she has ever been. As she despairs, wailing in her loss, she feels something rushing in her ears, a heat burning her cheeks. This anger, this heat spreads, inflaming her neck, her breasts, her belly. She is aglow, lit by the fire of her belly, flames licking the whole of her body…reveling and heaving in the heat, unchained, free to dance and run, tossing her mane and charring the land. In the fire, she comes back to life and remembers clearly the heavy chains of Helios, her other, the one who enslaved her and drove her to madness, and the squid queen, momentary protector until it wasn’t advantageous anymore. She takes these memories, ingests them in the fire of her body and sheds them, dust to dust.With one finger, she draws from her belly the fire made there, magic fire conjured by herself and she begins to shape with her hands a world for herself. Extravagant freedom in this world, written into being with numinous love and understanding. She gazes through her planet at the others, and see’s them in the clutches of darkness forever without her. Bleak misery with no escape for those living on the planets, and she see’s that her own freedom denies freedom to all others. The gong is struck. Each star undrapes itself, suspended in plasma, unseeing as the day ends it’s performance. The curtain silently lowers, the button is pressed and the squid queen opens her legs, milky black sesame tumbling out, covering every bit of sky. As the night bleeds, each star unfreezes, wrenching from its’ cold prism cabin, waiting. Despondent, she must choose between living with pain endured or pain inflicted. She drifts upward slowly and holds out her arms to Helios for him to bind, gives him her belly to light.