The Nature of Sand

I had always believed
and though unlikely,
a sand-colored beast created
from sand and heat;

a holy birth.

Accept my apologies
for wanting to see the naked-ness
of beauty at the very instant
it became


yearning is not

but could be.

Once the sensation
of hunger burned me,

I carried its glory.

Thou Shalt Not Ruin

Choose two stones the shape
of eyes, a cape of bone and straw,
a chain of teeth.

Confine your precious things
in silver boxes, forget their wounds;
they do not intend

to forgive you.

Tear down the golden hives,
let fly each winged mystery,
they will follow you


the wondrous creature's skulls
grown roots of leafless tree,
share their vigilance, study

their weakness.

In metered syllables speak
of sleep, tame its hollowed spiral
dreams.  Guide the innocent

away from deceit,

The feathered sparrow, gashed
and bleeding; it isn't wounds that
needed healing, but reconstitution

of half-digested berries,
scattered, wasted




you are like yourself, sad
and far away, a dark ruby,
a slow celtic dance by night-fire
when no one is watching.

See how the hills recognize
your singing, how they lie down
satisfied, their mournful brown faces
buried in their muscled arms

listening.  How evening wraps
its purple robes around your back,
a velvet funeral gown;  the earth
anchors your heart like root.

Again, the moon casts the cold
glow of her own loyal sorrow
across the wild strands of your hair
and dances with you.

Like a Blind Wing

All night the ashen bats
rush against our breasts
in short, uneven flight-

quick deaths.

Their fibrous wings
the wind, the darkness
sightless find

fresh targets-

their bite sweet
and final.

Death: a Black Wolf

Like fear, now
you cannot hear me
through the labyrinth of bones,

the body's malignant
frozen seizure, my cries

cracking teeth, viscous
winds, the howling of wolves

in a sudden blizzard

breath became blade,
your motionless body
arrested prayer-

wild and dark and still
like the gutted carcass
of a gorgeous star

limp and light-less

to earth.

She Drew a Charcoal Heart

Charcoal pencil, black
dust to outline what matters
most.  To consecrate,
capture light

as if to arrest
a wild beautiful-ness
as if existence were

made of want,
drawn by will.

Perhaps it is
after all two separate
pieces born from a single

desire, turn
and twist, climb
similar ladders,

decay and rust
in divergent skies

twin stars whose
arteries pulse, whose
blood cells rush,

split and die
in the simple sketch
of a human heart.

Holes in Its Pockets

No longer secret like
an over-sized hoodie, red
with the eye of God, the silver
Lion tattooed on its back;

the carcass it rides,
missing a heart nor recall
when it fell out.

Like a plastic shower
curtain in dim-light something
large and dark living inside

or the body encased
in stone unable
to crack or cry.

We are given
one line, a short notch
of planet, of plot,

a threadbare jacket

with gifts in two shallow
pockets.  Gifts that we held
so quiet and loved

and lost.


Garden at the City Wall

They are not here to warn
us;  you cleaved to suffering
the way matter binds

to memory soaked
in light.

They will find you
imbalanced, living in what
some may call

poisoned gardens,
diseased and dying.

Still they will not
spare you, give you
what you struggle towards

like ants in mud-

some obscure opening in
the city's malignant wall.

You be the judge.  See where
the bones of heart pounded
into dust resemble

ashes, resemble
an unknown animal's
drying blood?


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.