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March 5, 2015

Let’s start small

like a breath, a bomb of exhale.

Steal air from the space around

and make sound. Make it last.


It might be the last gasp

ever heard, so let’s push

out from the ground below,

a soft bellow, a curse –

the reverse of your silence,

like children

not seen but undeterred

a penchant for hurt

‘cause what are we

but bodies unlearned,

harms unheard,

a tongue cut?


Let’s tell a story,

the one where every bone

is a needle, and if you

want to dress the sex you feel,

it’s enough to get

you beaten, and if you

want to bed the same sex,

it’s illegal, and if you

want to get some respect,

you bleach yourself,

because a Twitter conversation

about a dress is the closest

we get to a conversation

about color.

Let’s make some noise

your voice

takes power from them.

Let’s make a deal.

Let’s make more noise,please.

Let’s fuck louder.

We can suck cock

so even cannibals

get jealous.

Let’s cry louder

since tears tears

are just waves

without wind,

and what we can

do together

will drown

all of them.

Let’s make out

in unforgiveable


Let’s be the alarm

when we’re

all on fire.

Let’s be the


that we







Let’s make some noise

your voice

takes power from them.


Let’s make some noise

your voice

takes power from them.


Let’s make some noise

your voice

takes power from them.


So, let’s start small

with a voice

like a breath

as a bomb

of exhale.



February 5, 2015

—for Alaska
Here, I sound out
my capable names:
mountains cresting over ice,
watersheds staggering
like Nana’s veined capillaries
trafficking wild weeds
with loose bone husks
left from a century’s kill.

I would have accepted any
of it: the complicated uqautchit
from tribal-tongued elders—
stag-stew full, nursing mittens
from scavenged fur—
or even the simple, clumsy cadence
of American cartographers
with rough-toothed ardor
as if Sir Edmund Hillary
were stupid uqabnibluktuq:
a dunce with a mission.

Name me anything that
is not rootless: tacit howls
or slipping rock, blueberry patches,
windstrewn dirt like down
wrapping up the tundra,
But I cannot claw earth.
I stay small, unhidden,
exposed to the sloppy trudge
of evolution, the banal
erosions, the arctic swells
and evaporations:

I am almost always
a word already gone.

“Months Later”

April 21, 2013

You would hear my body undevelop
at the first mention of him from a stranger,

a collection of images that once fixed
to the fridge, disordered at the office to prompt questions

of what love it is that sends you flowers –
all of this dried up by air, bleached in the absence

of our dark rooms and brought to light
by a couple words, a bit of information, a poison

in the well-being of what should be at rest,
but now sits out in the light as if it could breathe,

grow sternum and once again, walk away
while my arms fall slack, break femur to thumb,

ribs curl in like an angry man’s knuckle,
thrust to the hip, the thigh and at last, dig into the earth.

“Unintended Hookup #1”

February 5, 2012

I cannot go on
without that sock.
Lost somewhere riddled
among a bed’s looseness,
the wreck of us fucking.
Threadworn, it complains
of alacrity as a mercy

sucking dust
with the bunnies –
hidden in a mutt’s dander
and educing desperation
as if it were stink.
It will have a hole
left now from saying
‘I want to come home.

If you hear this
and are interested,
let me know
what I was wearing
(or what wore me),’
and if the taste of ass
coupled with hibachi
returns my calls.


January 24, 2012

‘But I am all bones’,
I tell the urgency
which is now shaped like a doctor
and smells of celluloid,
salt, long stale coffee.

We sit and get cordial
with talk of vacations
and how suitcases can take us
all the way away,
someplace, room one over

that is this room,
only bigger and fractured
as if three dark spots
inverted, decorated,
made beds while playing house.

I swear immovable:
the lung, a collection of bags
and blood lumped and expanding
to expose vanity, storm window,
interior door

and a single breath,
the crispness a bone sounds
when it exposes within
ragged jags, membrane,
trapped air.


August 1, 2011

From here, my hands make empty tools,
a clumsy bone and nail architecture
holding on to little of what surounds me.
Here’s a pen. I drop it. Here’s a ticket. I drop it.
A dunce choreography just to produce a cut finger,
a bruised palm, a tiny scratch difference
between now and the now that once was now,
but now it isn’t. I have lost that already.

This now I cannot find is an attempt
to make the body’s cartography from space
where all things look amorphous,
but perhaps you can make sense of me,
of all these crazy terrains.
Form infographs for the stray hairs
and a key to what remains of casual sex.
Starting at the brain, draw highways
past the heart to my childhood,
bypass the formative years.
Create signs in Seattle, Italy
wherever the congestion goes gangster
and cells pop like pistols
in Baltimore’s Cherry Hill.
Abandon the throat to poor construction.
Instead trace fault lines to spine,
spreading as a river centipede
feeding liver, appendix, ocean –
slicing across the salmon belly
dropping blood-colored eggs,
the shape of a man becoming,
the seed rollable on the tongue.

You could make sense of these wilderlands.
Crater and empire, knolls and sluice –
a war between disparate fluids
and fast materials like the kidney, the lung,
the birthday I lost my virginity
to a woman with the same name as my brother.
Piled together, balled up, then flattened
until the end-to-end itself becomes lost,
an agent of my scant abilities
to discern which now it is we are now in,
an what year it is I was supposed to have children
or bought a house or graduated as a doctor
or made that classic album or scripted a play
or seen the Greek Isles or been the one in the room
that everyone wanted to talk to, but didn’t.
Instead, I can’t recall the boyfriend from Cherry Hill
or the face belonging to my first pair of exposed breasts,
or the feeling of having a father I didn’t think of
as incompetent.

You can make sense of these scars
at my ankle and the sloping of my forehead.
You could assemble the melee
into named deserts, national borders,
and give a key to the mongrel thrushes
in my head, the angry elk in my stomach
and my cock’s insatiable predation.
Then, I could locate muscles that swell
around a pen or a ticket or the death
of my last lover’s affection. I could grasp
each year instead of sorrow.
Become decipherable, visible, new.

“The Interview”

May 6, 2011

Pick me.

Pick me because I brought donuts to this interview, and it is clear you like donuts. Pick me because I can obviously read people well and understand when not to mention weight gain.

Pick me because I am able to demonstrate an acute understanding of important sounding words like interdisciplinary, capitalize, monetize, product deployment, and parse observational model without knowing what they mean.

Pick me because I will not only deliver on the promises I make, but I will deliver on the promises I make that you take credit for.

Pick me because I have served fries with that.

Pick me because innovation matters, and you can see that in the way I used my roommate’s urine instead of my own in this cup.

Pick me because I know how to cut corners.

Pick me because I have no children, no family, no friends and could spend my weekend excited about what I will do when I get to work on Monday.

Pick me because dignity is negotiable, like as in exchange for unlimited coffee provision.

Pick me because the others didn’t give you a three-page resume and single space it tightly as knots on needles with information like how my old boss would come to me to buy his weed. Pick me because I can buy you weed.

Pick me because other candidates won’t understand you which is to say that I get you, I have been where you are and where you are going. You don’t want to be pandered to. You worked hard to get to become Assistant Managerto the Vice-President of the Shipping Department, and it shows. So, maybe other candidates might try to sleep with you or buy you dinner or perhaps offer up expensive gifts to secure their position. You are above such disingenuous behavior, unless you aren’t. In which case, pick me because I will sleep with you and buy you dinner.

Pick me because your voice completes me.

Pick me because I would love to hear from you. Over lunch, during breaks, on vacation, at two in the morning when you suddenly have an idea that sounds like my idea from two weeks before but only now becomes relevant.

Pick me because I am fluent in the language of Apologetic. Restraint. Cheerful resentment.

Pick me because I will be the silent partner on assignments you don’t understand, you don’t know how to do, you can’t even explain to your bosses and so CC: me on the email to make a powerpoint. Pick me, and I will use that cool transition between presentation pages.

Pick me because dignity is not something I have gotten used to. Pick me because I have worked since I was 14 and still barely accumulate enough money to buy a used car. Pick me because every check I cash costs me money, because every minute I am late is reason to dock my pay. Pick me because English may not be my first language, but greed is international.

Pick me because my aspirations end here.

Pick me.