No roses root in our bed. Complex show
fragrance superiority, sapping soil, not
enough nutrients to go round, but black-
eyes golden rods baby’s breaths cluster
close, cling to each other & sun, beg no
excess attentions – the innocent, the
heartless, the orphans, & single-sprig
snapdragon; Oh, close eyes to metaphor,
but understand I invest my hours pruning to
insure direct sunlight to spaces between
blooms, the slim neck & curve of bell—Just
Chick Habit. The snow doesn’t stick &
ground warms under hand, exhalation =
life, so channel lessons from long-dead,
scientific names & the time I soft-C’ed the
“Schuy” ((Hope Heaven holds ignorance &
Sorrys sacred)), these more worthy of eyes
& ears & words: I remember “I want to see
it without the negotiations,” meaning
“minus hypotheses”;  His hair fell further
then, a peer found definition of
“inappropriate” in penning compromised
positions, a proper place for all of the sweat
& conjunction, & I, I listened.

Today brought “Nobody reads anymore,”
the fraying of a glove, miscounting change,
the formation of a body-shaped dotted
line—gadgets & gizmos aplenty, yes, one
hell of a collection, all hidden in shadows on
the Cave wall—Basic rules apply, child-me
decided Promise a swear, not a swearing, so
breaking a statement past P-word forever
results in a breaking of bodies ((A clever
phrasing of “If, Then,” of course)). C.V.
revision to include Sounding Board,
Inputless – January 1988 to Present;

Dear, please pass a copy on to anyone
willing to pay in family stories & haircuts,
unknowledges, though brighter lights at
righter angles might philosophize the
chained, release the who’s-its or what’s-its.

The boy on the train leaned in, mouth
inches from little sister’s ear, secreting the
world for her approval, punctuation in
pencil eraser tapped to nose & pink
camouflage strap as redefined “man,”
smiles & patiences prompting wishes for
absolutes like “all,” but why such search
history when filling full only means trusting
those who might tote contrasting colors or
weed out succulents & cliché?

I dizzy, two beers in again, following flakes,
& I lied! One caught on my cheek,
unmelting, triggering musicals & missing
not-so-long-but-nonetheless losts – Recall
the unfailing flailing shit show, sweepings
off of feet & somehow harmonizing balls of
butter & miscounted minutes per year, yes,
so many “loves” the scoreboard’s eternally
tilted, but rules fall deaf to ears trying to
listen, so we continue to obey barricades
blocking kitchens when all we want is
jumbled feasts & descriptions of divided
studios—Slow Alchemy—disambiguation
down to turned vinyl corners, scene
imagined for lack of invite, chipping away of
bird form ‘til unrecognized, for isn’t it all so
much prettier when backlit? He asked for
numbers & gaps manifested, quantity over
quality, since maybe two succeeded in
getting me off—No blushing! No qualming!
Trust learning developed in actual scarring,
indifference to jism & syllogism, so

thereafter plays back best in 4/5 time or
with 146th Street bassline & speaking since
tune & pitch fail & heroes preach sound
pollution. I learn of diseases that attack via
head & heart, so where to turn in illness?
“Growth” mutates to a shift, Black Masses,
squeezes out tentacles horror-movie-
dragging off family ‘til I’m sure 25 deserves
a Miracle Party. I doubt little these days in
dialogue, dance imagined full-detail: Wake
early to frost from-scratch cake, pipe icing
into dogwood blossom, navigate three
trains to triumphant placing of cake on
table, & she’ll enter, smile open-mouthed,
removing a $100 glove to spread
fingers wide, drop them to cake’s center
& twist wrist, guffaw, glance around to faces—
child seeking love for doing wrong—while
his joints, brain, lungs glow in two dozen x-
ray prints. Tell me again of textbook
definition & expect me not to laugh; No, G’s
hold no loyalty, consistency, so play the pop
louder & let me have the red chair &
hour-long shower each Saturday.

Avoid adjectives leading, as I now take faith
in the intelligence of the populace to knee-
jerk in the right direction when I paint
picture of malcontent in entitlement.
Friends lower brows when I raise two
octaves, describe the new nook I’ve found
& chocolate chip latte, these being two of
three on the short list of Nouns I Earnestly
Love, alongside Thingamabobs.
Or was it conversation with strangers?

Whichever allows for truer discomfort;
I’d sketch a diagram to demonstrate, but
they say drawing isn’t my medium, & I’d
rather not confuse You further, so when
You tell me It is infinite & therefore the
smallest thing, I shy away—Say the act
of sidling from Heaven ≠ damnation, Spirit
Poet, as time climbs low before hitting ceiling,
& moments between forever friends now drag
for want of words approaching “interesting.”
Fill in few gaps lacuna-ing our together, explain
the significance of dancing toasters & the scar
on my forehead, playing video games & exploring
the cabinet under the blue lamp big enough for
a Night Child, screaming, to hide in & the day I
figured out the pieces inside made a record player
long since incapable of sound, but the tape deck
nearby blasting about a love that lifts a man, “boogie”
translating in child mind to spinning ‘til too dizzy,
cracking still-soft skull on coffee table corner &
stopping blood spurts ((tiny, girl-shaped Vesuvius))
with damp washcloth & sitting on the porch ‘til Mema
flipped the same “You’ll be well before you’re married
twice”’s of my mother, but somehow infusing them
with magic or medicine, silencing tears, eliciting
“Okay” & return to play.

Fast-forward to the cake-covered hand & just how
agile its fingers prove, always pointing, underlining
vaguenesses itself created, fairy tale pitfalls just
camoed with woven underbrush—contracts, barrels
for bending over; eggshells, the smell, food noises
inches from ears; only saints occupy the Southside,
so our impatience reads as sin.

New York, I don’t want your glaring juxtapositions—
licorice beside the zinnias, pink gold-hearted mums,
carnations; No first dates, just button-down warmth
& bad films & any “his” knowing without asking that
we have to stay on the left side of the street because
the right is too ratty. Quantify so the alligator mouth
((A friend told me Up Here it’s called “greedy duck”;
What do you say beyond Golden Gates?)) points in
any direction other than my asking, since claiming
Simple stands as another talent in my mostly-hollow
bones, other mass including marigolds & lilies pressed
to skeleton, the smell of too many cigarettes in
enclosed space, & the day Mema taught measurings &
methods of the elusive cookie, most important to let
Poppop have first pick—only the pretty ones, only while
still warm; A dance, partner-less ‘til someone knows the
same steps ((& me, with no training!)) to mimic a happiness
learned so early & by so many others, but failed
whenever attempted.

I still refuse, no endearing fears or qualms about it,
to return any of their kilojoules—insert “Finders, Keepers”
or “War Pigs” or “Indian Giving” or any childhood rules
instructing property laws here—when really, I’ve already
converted the energy, whether to other pages or bottle
cap collections, so my hands are tied, rouge-less, empty.
I even end up speechless, frequently, for forgetting
terminology of a reality that doesn’t fit entirely, pinching
at fasteners, pressing at seams, & the clichés might be clichéd

for a reason, existing as the only truths I can find in the
faces of best-liars, talking over, over-talking in any
conversation of worth—express care via anti-, &
demand 25th Street meetings with greetings of Sorry,
do I know you? because elbow-rubbing with Importants
implants a seed—kudzu or wisteria or any climbing ivy—
priorities must fall as follows:

Him ((wantsneedsmotives)), the man, the gallery, the
family, the partner, the Knows & Want-to-Knows,
the job, the little people, the etc., & the fall-behind;
A game of Telephone, only in lieu of message, we
latch mouths & by chain’s end I’m left walking along,
lungs filled full up with carbon-oxygen-oxygen,
lightheaded but expected to work muscles to grin.

I’m sorry for the physical shutting down when
mornings begin with lifting trash cans & sifting
for keys in Harlem well-to-do’s muck—the piss
& shit of privilege’s underbelly under my
fingernails, matching eye makeup.

I’m auditioning coffee shops for the role of filling
the gaps, & I’ve met The One but suffer for want
of not-another-routine, so I stand him up for the
asshole hard benches & children with British accents,
tennis rackets, & requests for bacon—one swings
like Federer, skewing a display of pretzels so his mother
cancels his order, & I laugh; My coffee burns my mouth
& apartment memory offers no solace since I shadow
the window shelves of Mema’s kitchen, collecting
empty cans ‘til Fridays

No coat into snow so You can be proud of me.
You recycle in the clouds, right? The rain to evaporate
to condense to rain process proves it, though I tire
of water & wind—I tire of conversation comparing
grocers & dog parks & salad dressings; I hold regard
for disregard in that I respect the apathy behind it,
can’t fathom mishandling another so easily, still
shame for friends’ hurt eyes over poems years past.
His joints glow green, for clarity’s sake, that Kryptonite
color, his insides being what kill him, Dry Bone Valley;
I guess that I just thought maybe we could find new ways to fall apart—

breaking bottles over each others’ broken hearts
wears thin. I mean, these hearts hold no resistance
so the glass sinks into their bits like sand, very meta,
& onto, what? The seventh age of it now? Play connect-
the-dots with freckles & bruises, jabbing each along the
way to add permanent damage to insult to injury, & really,
I don’t trust the stories, because why would an ex-
nothing ask of my whereabouts? I’ve composed cat
explanations, picnicked & written letters, scavenged
a week’s worth of “This reminded me of you”’s, so I
prefer cooking romantic dinners for two

putting half in the fridge, & gifting it to me the next
night. Used to Give a Fuck, Now I Give a Fuck Less.
The One next to You wrote of the lemon like I could
know it, effort appreciated, then squeezed too hard;
eyes shut now from shrapnel & seed, perpetual audience
misunderstanding, but if sought, Rosetta Stone lives
in Your legends.

Trivial quote from anyone else’s bed: One quieted
“You look pretty… something in the way the light’s hitting
your face,” sub-sect behaving to any extreme to avoid
sincerity. The word “Nirvana” comes from Sanskrit &
literally means “to cease blowing,” & I’d agree, waiting
45 minutes in winter rain to not see art I’d planned for a
month, warming of phalanges left to cold beer & shitty
acoustic covers, but the waitress has kind eyes, an accent,
smiles at mention of poems, & now he’s playing Al
Green, so I like him—

How many times have I said that? Donuts & pastries
fall alongside cake, so the hand sticks to surfaces, faces
daily; please note: The sweetest message I’ve yet to
receive fell between Fresh Rips & Nervous Man In a
Four Dollar Room
, & I have the good sense ((bad fortune?))
to reject it. But his eyes exist in width, & his smiles stick
to the holes in my tights, so I pivot in mirrors these days
to laugh—the supposed-to forgotten for conversation
summed up in <s & 3s;


((More to come.))