Paper Girl

In the holy age of

she is folded like paper
is folded into small
replicas of myth-

angular swan, sharp edged
butterfly, screaming
monkey and dart-tailed

Small, random pieces
of non-existence
with white skin,

blank hearted

without the ability
to stand firmly
upright or

unfold herself.

A Natural Art

We hid long enough
from bombs and piercing
silences that inherently follow
anticipation of dying.  A mouth
of silence stuffed full with
sorrow like rags in the throat
of a hostage or pain before

climbing its ladder. 

When we could still feel
our nerves on fire, we picked up
our scalpels pressed into
the thin purple mark, shaved
away what we should not
but inherently are.

This is not a natural art
like God or lightening or
waterfalls.  This is faux scarlet,
enhanced blood and tattoo
scars.  This is laughter
in lieu of black flowers.

Rise up like bone buoyed
by water, travel along the surface
like glass carries light in arcs. Open
up your hearts like night unhinges
its jaw and swallows those
it obsessively loves. 


Broken Shells

This is the beach where
the invisible boy found
his invisible girl.

See how they dance
beneath the gull wing,
slap the weeping shore,

twirl and snap
between their fingers
broken shells.

Late at night you hear
them call like migratory
whales, then sink


What Comes Loud, Unbidden

he said our room had two
doors.  One to keep open,
the other to keep us out.

This place is private
like a dream about a bull
who kills you every night,

the floor sticky with blood
and love.

Beneath this house, root
and rot grown up into the walls
like children who come

loud, unbidden
at a funeral

or his ribs twisting, cracking
around his crumbling
plaster heart.

he said this is our waiting
room, our names carved

on the inside of our mouths
like secrets.


Keep Quiet the Stones

carry your burden, this is (not)
a request;  fill the useless ruins
with beauty, then disguise

the mark.

Borrow the imperfect
returning it with fire;  find
the red and orange blossoms,

shield them.

Prepare the wound, revising
circumstance to prayer;
remember the jagged
shape of sorrow,

how it tears and heals.

Keep quiet the stones
sleeping in their beds, if
they should hear you

crush them quickly,
they will bury you;

walk carefully
in the wild, untended fields,
you will be swallowed.

The Cycle of Penance

is all about the light, the light
changing now, I am a dark ghost
a measured fading turned
silver edges dull

stripped of my ability
to adhere.

Unwisely expectant in
another world, I freely gave
without embrace or trust;

I drank the milk but
never tasted.

There are three kinds
of creation, the first
separation of memory

from spirit creating

The second, a random
page torn from story,

scribbled out, the chosen

The third, a fibrillating
heart that suffers for
its history of blackness,



Hear It Breathing In Darkness

It seemed necessary, natural
to possess or be possessed;
unrestrained, untrained
energy bursting through

its thin, hard shell

like fireworks.  You can still
smell the smoke but
excitement always
weakens, dissipates;

the things we've loved
lose their sharp, fresh edges,
their shiny veneer gives

way to lackluster.

There is something holy
at the end of this
spiraling tunnel


for eyes, for hearts
to adjust to its sweet

its desire to
claim us.


Innocence Turned Dry, Violent

Nothing matters but how
the words fasten themselves
not to paper but

the sweet child's

spills into
young, empty,

skulls or hand-carved
wooden boats

set sail on
first voyages.

Years later, land
found, settled in
high desert,

sun-parched dry
and wisened,

bowls filled
with thistle and sand

where disturbing, dangerous
creatures slither and travel


Love's poisoned tail
held stiff and aimed

defends itself

from its own

The Indistinct Pattern of Darkness

fell fast then
disappeared completely;

a sense of movement
without seeing
or hearing,

the urgency
of sound without

without word.

If the absence
of color is black


does light create

great love
destroy spirit,

prayer feed upon

When I call your name
the taste of sour
and sweet blood

from its mouth.


The Body Creates its Own Infection

She was bottomless,
inverted matter, bluish obtuse
where nothingness prayed
to be a solid thing

like hand shadow puppets
depend on brightness to tell their
interesting, unpredictable stories

like snakes released in
gravity-free space cling to
their own twisted bodies

as anchors.

The rhythmic rocking
back and forth re-visiting
the womb, the grave;

the body ticking

like chinese torture,
bloating like an anaerobic,
bacterial wound

just below
the surface.


To Each a Kingdom

Everyday mind moves
matter.  See the hand shade
the eye when thoughts
become too bright,

watch a dream repeat
itself in real life,

bodies of lovers
in arc, the movement

of the lips and mouth

and furrowed brow
molding the actions
of a child,

a bowed head
mourning the loss
of life.

Rush now, kings
and queens of thought,
reach into the light,

into the darkness,

mold your
lovely kingdoms.

Sculpture by Choi Xoo Ang


Carte du Jour

No one wanted to say this
tastes like disappointment,

though their eyes
like ziplock bags filled
with oily-black fluid

seeping through
a cracked seam said


a dark, purple-colored,
velvet hunger -

rubbing oil between
the thumb and finger

felt a lot
like blood.


The StoryTeller

Not thinking of you today, not 
a single human being died.
No roses shrank or sagged,

predators sheathed their
metal jaws, even

the delicate faery-gnat

with its 3 minute
life-span survived.

I am a good teller
of stories, an accomplished
liar. If you choose to wake

me now-

you awaken
the dying.

Two Foreign Objects Almost Collide in Space

For her part, she let it
end though the divine
reassured her, it might

How many tongues
do you think God's mouth
contains and would you

believe each
foreign promise if

you couldn't
decipher the symbols?

Some connections
are too close, others
were never meant

for dreams-

as for her, she kept

Sometimes You Don't Even Feel The Bullet

if only
I could revive you but
you have been with
the disappeared for
far too long;

I think you
like it.


Futile Admiration

Strange sorrow, burnt bean,
dark yet perfectly singed;

a single black ant
marching the porch bannister
obsessed with destination.

Not like us who move
in many directions
on the way in

or out of heaven.

Watch the lonely bird,
again and again he rises,
each ascent his eyes
shooting fire,

his lovely wings crack
and bend like an old
woman's back or

a broken mast
in a pirate's battle

splinter in half. 

Futile, yes, but


White Chalk and Scars

The body talks to itself
wound to wound, flesh to scar
clawed deep by

the black-ghost wolf
trapped in my heart.

Skin or cave, my canvas
flattened cardboard marked
with images rendered so fragile

they decompose
at the speed of quiet .

Here where I thought
terrible darkness was God
and it is

inconceivably brighter
than lightness

where it's not
enough to know what's hidden
is in danger of dissolve,

what lies uncut grows

Consider the dead outlined
in smoke, they wear no clothes,
no hats or scarves, naked

bleached and faded
white chalk.

Non-Reactive Properties

This comes from my own life, this
flea hugging its blood-filled host,
the point of nail leading the flat
silver head down into wood;

the seemingly dark empty
space between all that could
but maybe shouldn't

torture or thrill.

There is so much overlap
evil and good, how my faith
enveloped your fear like a plastic
bubble filled with limitless air

which is to say you needed
what I needed and

I willed myself to be satisfied
very much like stones keep
their molecules tight to
their chests, their bodies

so motionless they seem


Do Not Spare Me

These are not words but
perfectly oval corpuscles
iridescent (red)

given birth, a map-less tunnel,
accruing weight and matter,

twice the venom to kill
before they are killed.

Beauty is imagination;
the blade of delight

is real.

Let joy, its stubborn edge,
its pearl-coated throat and
winged animal body

find me.


Act of Forgiveness

The small boy said "it's time to go home"
with an adult serious stride he guided me
down the hall to a door that was warped
by a network of veins coursing

with wine or poison.  "This was the way in"
he turned with a cruel smile, "but now, you
have to cut your way out."

On the other side, the voice of a woman
like the sound of two rivers rushing together
in a storm, somewhat buffering spine-cracking
booms, she whispered "Remember, she too
was once white cloud"

and she cried for me like thunder.

Now the boy, a man, sits quiet beside me
on a park bench feeding pigeons to seed,
his hand swaying methodic like a clock
ticking, his eyes counting each speckled,
gray bird... as if one were missing.



For crushing Nefertiti
I condemn you to
the wire, oiled wood,
confined to darkness,

your organs stored
in pewter boxes where

demon children keep
their stolen plastic toys.

For shattered bones
your skin to memorize, record
each nerve to burn,

explode like
firecrackers.  Then

a goodbye kiss
for what is left
before it



In Any Direction

How unlikely my heart
to find its bearings
in this dark world,

its shiftings
a rogue wave in
a night's storm,

an uneven swell
for a blinded ear;

small hairs
in the shell's bone


Mojave Rain

Fine, sweet rain
on dessicated earth.  The juice
of birth, its first breath

passing through
its chiseled, withered

This land is sacred
like afterbirth
drying on

its cord.

Depth and Dimension

It was not my intention
to stay with you;  a grain
of sand or rice would

A final look back
at jagged-white mountains
a homeland,

the lone wolf understands.

Time is not gravity's pull
but shapes of journey,
the curvature of dream

with its unplanned
arrivals and sudden

The dead rabbit on
the road, the burrowing
mole, the bird with its hollow
bones and webbed fingers,

the mother of my thorns-

wherever they go,
they go



Surreal Discipline

When you observe
potential becomes.  Before
you see it all things jabberwocky
a state of good and evil.  You must
become a stranger to yourself, this world
to seize it.