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The Lorelai Sings

July 17, 2017 Leave a comment

These are all the ghosts I’ve loved before,
their delicate bones, neatly arranged
into new mistakes, bright
and blanched like stars,
a history lit up
and unexplained,
hearts unexamined
at the roots,
careless in the quiet
shadow of maybe.

There’s the ache of space
between one rib and the next,
a breath of hesitation
crowded by what-ifs
and moments that linger
too heavy with empty,
the trembling
possibility
of familiar footsteps,
a wrong turn down
a forest path, hearts
full of wolves
that howl at a false moon—
fear is the worst companion.

Ghosts always have too many hands,
an endless reach of wailing
memory, an old song
re-varnished
as a thousand secrets,
all gasping for attention,
a kiss so full
that all the rules break
and time separates
from reason—
an unforgiving split.

This is what it’s like
to live at the center
of a labyrinth, heart
wild as a monster,
waiting for what will wing
itself around the last corner,
unannounced as any madness,
a graveyard of old promises
firm in its teeth,
and me with a cracked mirror
for a soul—
there’s nothing left to do
but sing.

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Categories: poem, poems, Poetry, Uncategorized Tags: , ,

When the Believer Begins to Doubt, A Prayer

June 20, 2017 Leave a comment

When it happens again, I try not to play the old game
of habit over reason, but I fear I am losing everything
the way light loses itself
in winter. Still, I leave the doubt
between my teeth, try not to bite down,
try not to let all the old ghosts out,
but they are always howling,
even on nights
when there is no wind.

This is the way every nightmare starts:
a crack spiderwebbing the glass,
a splinter of dissent,
a key with no lock
and endless questions.

When it happens again, I try not to hold my breath,
knowing it’s just as easy to drown
on dry land, in the middle of a crowded room,
I know
that this is alone as it gets,
but I’m still smiling,
and that’s careful enough.

This is the way I remember
all the places in which
I don’t add up, from hip
to rib to heart, weightless
as a laugh and twice
as easy to lose—
somehow, an ordinary magic,
somehow, an aftermath,
a wreck of a wild thing,
a ruin of red lights
and missed calls.

When it happens again, it’s all train tracks
and wolves, but I stand there anyway,
defiant as a hurricane, a mouth
made of prayers, a gathering of red,
a tumble of what’s most vulnerable.

This is what I am:
a symphony of impossible
want, flowers dancing
in miraculous places, the feathered
promise of maybe,
the way love shatters
all other expectations—
sometimes, the old fears
slink back into the dark,
sometimes, not everything
is a mess waiting to pounce,
sometimes,
things work out—
sometimes, the soul speaks,
and the brave listen.

And Sometimes, I Sing Her Lullabies

The truth is, I am trying to tell you something
in a language I don’t know how to translate,
and it’s like there’s an ocean
where my heart should be
and I can’t remember how to swim.

The truth is, you cannot put joy
in a box, and getting lost
is the only way to find
what you never knew to look for—
but sometimes, you don’t
come back, and always
you don’t come back the same,
and it’s okay
not to recognize yourself
in someone else’s mirror.

The truth is, there is a monster
in my chest, and sometimes,
I sing her lullabies,
but she doesn’t scare me
as much as everything I want,
a need that is its own dimension,
rattling like a wind chime
in a hurricane, and I think:
I made this,
so, now what?

The truth is, you are standing on a bridge
with a lit match, and maybe
my bones are gasoline, maybe
my hands are tinder, maybe
my kiss is the friction
of the night sky
and new constellations—
but you can still go back
to where it’s safe,
there’s solid ground
and old miracles,
and it would be alright.

The truth is, instead of safety,
I would rather drown
or burn, throw all the windows open
and laugh in the rain, meeting
like ink clinging to fingers,
unexpected, a beautiful darkness,
like laughter trailing
through a kiss, unhindered
and insanely free.

Categories: poem, Poetry, Uncategorized Tags: , ,

I Believe in AMERICANS GODS

 

 

When I heard that Bryan Fuller was tackling Neil Gaiman’s American Gods for Starz, I did a happy dance. For one thing, I have adored all of Fuller’s work, with literally no complaints. That is rare as fuck. For another, Gaiman is my favorite author. And while Gods isn’t my favorite Gaiman book (that’s Neverwhere, thank you), I was insanely thrilled at the prospect of seeing Shadow Moon and Wednesday and Bilquis come to life.

 

You could say, if you wanted to be clever, that the premiere (“The Bone Orchard“) made a believer out of me. And, as worship sometimes proves without a doubt, that faith was rewarded when I watched it last night. It was, no exaggeration, flawless—the use of light and color, the brilliance music selection, the razor sharp dialogue, and the astounding performances. I wondered how Bilquis’s scene would be depicted, and holy hell in a handbasket—Yetide Badaki was flawless. Ricky Whittle’s turn as Shadow was nuanced and powerful, even when there was no dialogue. My heart broke for him at the funeral and again at the graveyard. In that garden full of dead people, his best friend’s widow (Betty Gilpin crushed it) was a hurricane of grief that was so raw and yet so real. Betrayal does strange things to a person, and in that frenetic explosion of pain, there was no false note.

 

Jonathan Tucker’s Low Key was a barely contained tidal wave of mischief and misdirection, a stream-of-consciousness maelstrom, a clever contrast to Shadow’s steady and unwavering nature. There’s an undertone of madness there, as he bends Shadow’s ear in flashbacks, giving advice that plays perfectly into the future.

 

Not to be outdone is Bruce Langley’s Technology Boy, who is menacing as all hell. There’s an edge to him that I did not expect. But the limits of his power are tested, when Shadow’s nearly hung, but  he’s saved by an unknown force. Given the immense presence of technology in everyday life, what would be strong enough to stand against it? Who, or what, saved Shadow?

 

My guess is Ian McShane’s Wednesday had a hand in that particular salvation. Wednesday has invested in Shadow and his future, a winding and strange journey so far. McShane, for all his manipulation and bluster, stole every scene he was in. He shapeshifts to fit the situation, but he’s always in control, always in power. McShane’s delivery was always pitch perfect, sly and subtle, but no less powerful for it. I can’t imagine anyone else in the role.

 

Fuller’s distinctive style and attention to detail (“Fuck god and cum hard” etched in the bathroom mirror—McShane mentioning one eye) are in full force. The bar and the ensuing brawl with Mad Sweeney (deliciously played by Pablo Schreiber) was perfectly done, giving a nice glimpse of what happens when Shadow is pushed too far. The overlap of past, present, and well beyond into the Twilight could have been tricky. It easily could’ve felt stilted or disjointed. Instead, the clash of past and present was like the striking of a match: brilliant and unmistakable.

 

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready and willing to worship next week.

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March 31, 2017 2 comments

(after Marty McConnell’s “treatise on the nature of non-abandonment“)

 

Anything can happen. A fire,
drinks, a kiss in a bar
neither of us can remember
the name of—one more secret,
rain-soaked in an old city,
or a new one,
I would go there with you,
which is to say: anywhere.

You are real, but your body
was once a stranger,
your laugh unfamiliar,
your kiss undiscovered.
Now, you are backroads
and crisp air in October,
your face
a book I can’t stop reading,
a favorite place.

I’ve kissed men
who couldn’t remember
my birthday, but you
know how I take my coffee,
how I always pull at my sleeves,
how I take forever to unpack—
but what do you want?

This is me: carefully reckless,
a hurricane of words,
a collection of left-behind sorrows
that seemed so big, once,
but now, they’re an old chapter,
a too-cluttered page, the wrong metaphor
and too many goddamn
parentheses—
and we are not that,
no punctuation, no pause,
no end stop.

And the truth is,
I didn’t know how many languages
a heart could hold, a mouth,
a tongue, a miracle.
The truth is,
I want to kiss you
while I’m making dinner,
decide your place
or mine, or ours,
or somewhere
in between.

Somewhere, someone whispers
caution, but I don’t know how,
and maybe you wouldn’t
love me if I did,
but it’s hard to imagine
a universe
without you in it,
and I’ve spent three decades
losing people
like misplaced keys,
turned backs, unsaid goodbyes,
a listing of loved ones
in a newspaper—
and my name’s not there.

There’s always chaos
in the left-behind,
like how I used to love escalators,
but now I’m afraid of heights,
an unstitched seam in a heart,
the way ink stains
everything you make
and unmake—
always messy.

Anything can happen,
so bring me all your imperfections,
every bad break,
the monsters that live
in the dark of your heart—
maybe it’s time to share bread
with all the possibilities,
make new keys
to old doors, reimagine
life from this moment,
seeing you on a street corner,
deconstructing the unsaid,
the way bodies
crash together like worlds—
ruin yielding as a placeholder
for what
comes next.

Categories: poem, poems, Poetry, Uncategorized

a mouth full of amen

March 11, 2017 3 comments

This is what it is
to wake up with bones
full of want: a snake
of desire for a spine,
each rib a bottomless need,
hip bones full
of yes, skin flushed
full apocalypse.

This is hands
like a rosary, each finger
a prayer, kneeling
with a mouth full
of amen, body lit up
like light
through stained glass.

This is the unraveling
of polite, all wine
drunk, all gasp,
the graze of salt
on a tongue,
the way even the riverbeds
surrender to fire,
how the sharp breath of a name
can burn it all down—
and leave you grateful,
coiled, and curious
for more.

Categories: Uncategorized

Le cœur a ses raisons que la raison ne connaît point*

March 1, 2017 2 comments

Because I have swallowed silence
as perfect as a thousand empty forests,
all bark and no bird.

Because sometimes
I try too hard,
but I don’t know how
to stop—I don’t know
the curve of the word
less.

Because I am lost
and leave you breadcrumbs
in a place
no fool would ever follow,
not out of habit,
but out of hope.

Because I don’t know how
to ask the right questions,
so I say nothing.

Because I can say
I miss you
in three different languages,
and I love you
in five—one of which
uses no words.

Because I want
and that is the beginning
and end of everything.

 

 

*Title from Blaise Pascal.

Categories: poem, poems, Poetry, Uncategorized Tags: ,