Monday, November 16, 2015

Eyeglass Repair Kit

The screw twisted free of its threaded cell
bounced off the macadam, landed somewhere,
I got down on my hands and knees, feeling around
for that brass speck, that crumb of gold

Warm plastic soda caps, petals of glass, 
metal ribbons curled up on the cement,
stars plastered like wet leaves against the asphalt
of the sky, orange traffic cones, parking lot lights,
stop signs bent in half, you filled your hand,
filled your mouth, got interrupted, spit it out,
it never happened

The bent coat hanger antenna, the radio dial, the vinyl seats
with their deep grooves
Gold wedding band dropped, the words engraved on the inside
disappearing when it gets melted down
I couldn't find that little tube containing
that skinny screwdriver, those spare screws,
those tiny tools

and then the lens popped
escaped from its frame, flipped through the air
to click against the concrete, where it acquired
a scratch the size of an eyelash
you couldn't see around
Origami eyes folded and unfolded, gaze shuffled
like a pack of cards. The world rippled past
in a watery blur. Silkworms and silverfish,
spiders and centipedes, all the little
darting floaters, water striders, and then
I had it, plucked from the gravel,
the screw safe at last
enfolded deep in the sweaty heart line of my palm.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Carrington Never Arrives at LaGuardia

     Look at the greasy glow of the lights shining through the glass walls of the station. A woman is standing on the platform, glancing at her phone every thirty seconds. The neighborhood beneath her is strangely hushed, her mind as quiet as the velvety antlers of a young buck. Her pupils are the size of dimes, two black holes threatening to suck the entire borough into them. She sits on a plastic bench, wrapped in a fuzzy white coat, ersatz arctic fox, and white heels. Her razor sharp ankles would cut through the snow if there was any. Her purse is the size of a  teabag. She tries to remember the last time she heard the cry of an owl. The noise of the city slowly rises. She lips her thin salamander orange lips. She drifts off and dreams of a potted palm sitting on the end of a diving board. She straddles the board, in her dress and white coat and white stockings and freshwater pearls, dragging her ass along until she makes ti to the end and wraps her arms around the trunk, clinging it to it for dear life. Carrington jerks awake to the sound of a warped recorded voice admonishing "Stand clear of the closing doors" but when she looks around there's no train, no one else on the platform. She looks at her phone again and the screen is covered with falling snow. 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Swallowing Crusoe

Those twin memories slid closer and closer to one another
until they were sitting on top of one another's laps.
The savage running through the surf
and the salt taste of her neck, the feel of her ass in my claws.
Twisting together, melting, merging, it was disgusting.
The acid burnt through my bib. I pawed at it
with a wad of napkins. All these years I was passive
when I needed to be active and boy do I regret it.
I wouldn't survive an hour on that island.
Footprints fill with water, lakeside property for the sand fleas.
I wrote songs of dancing inside her, wrote songs
describing crimes I was incapable of perpetrating in real life,
hoping it would spark something, and it did,
but she were already gone, and so it fizzled
in the foam that trailed behind her.
Seawater seeped in to ruin the powder, to rust
the barrel of my weekend. No one would be caught dead
on this mound where I squat, watching myself wrestle
my better judgment on the sand, grabbing my own ass,
sitting on my own face, tracing sentimental crescents
in the spilled salt on the tattered tablecloth
Sometimes it's so delicious not to think, sometimes it's hell.
In my dreams we stumble along like naked babies,
you drunkenly sucking my thumb before we collapse.
Then I wake in my little shelter
hoping someone will creep from the forest and be charmed
or at least not tie me to the stake and devour me,
the smoke from my sizzling flesh rising up like an SOS
over the waves.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015


The box spring devours you.
It stretches its maw and tears you to shreds
with its spiral metal teeth.
The bed sheets strangle. The comforter
does not live up to its name.
Your remains will be found in a tangle
of blankets and bloodied quilts.
The pillows sit quietly, looking
suspiciously plump and content.

Other types of beds are no better.
A cot will snap your spine in half.
A sleeping bag will smother you.
You'll be lynched by a hammock,
drown in a waterbed. No one has ever
woken up after a night on a couch.
No, the only safe place to sleep
is on the floor, with nothing more dangerous
than a slab of cardboard beneath
your tender, unprotected body.

Friday, November 6, 2015


Spreading [grabbing],
flowing [clutching]

[My father used to go on for hours about 
when he was a kid in the fifties]

Yellow smear across your face

[He said that when the grocery stores
first installed freezer cases
everyone thought it was a big mistake.
Who would want to buy food
that had been frozen, they asked]

 Rubbery white gums, slippery with mucus

[His mother would buy eggs fresh from the farm
and sometimes he'd find]

I am pricking your cheek. I am brushing against

[a crimson chicken embryo
suspended in the yolk]

your eyelashes

[He also talks at length about being pulled out of school
the day Kennedy had his brains blown out] 

Yellow fingers turn the belly pale
A single curly hair floating on
the milky surface

[how could you ever eat an egg
after seeing that, I'll never understand]

gives way beneath
the pressing weight
of my shifting center

my heaving bulk