Protect the Singer

Protect the singer; his cigarettes at 9pm off the desert interstate
            Truckstop headlights set fire to dust in his itching chin scruff,
Thick smoke, rough love, goosebumps lost from their jean jacket
            I step away for candy as you call me a sour patch kid
Sugar coated and stripping the buds on your tongue
You complete the cancer and follow me through the store
            A Subway sandwich scent streaming through every aisle,
Echoes of truckers in showers and fresh brewed bad coffee
            You slip your hand up my dress between the candy
And the corn nuts – pressing your body against mine
Teeth biting my ear, sniffing the Tocca in my hair
            You lose sight of the public and only see desire,
Thick thighs, rough knees, goosebumps under black dresses
            I cannot step away from you, you bury me in your chest
As a manager haircut bitch shames you for being inappropriate, 
You roll your baby blues and throw money across the empty counter
Staggering away towards the rental Murano,
I pop the top on a Mexican coke while you shove me into the driver seat
            Telling me to take us somewhere you can grope me in peace
But you wait for no man, no drive, no peace, and those hands wander
            As you unzip your pants expecting everything to be handed to you.

Five Thousand Cancers

Palm Springs, an envious devil
scratching my skin with sand scum and cactus soap –

still I love desert kin and a 97° shade of palm,
the way two lovers sing broken off psalms 
with the crests of mouths reminiscent in palate of 
blackberry dessert in a grandmother’s kitchen
How deep did you center yourself into the recesses of the fire?
           lleno de tripas              muriendo de amor

eat, and make love like your body holds seven sets of souls
and one memory         the heat           the cross
she starves money and browns in the sun,

a pattern of green, an echo of flaked orange on the lips,
architecture of stolen rosary embroidered on the belly button
where the south is receding and impregnated by the devil –

tattooed in nightlife neon from around the corner
and a temperament disfigured by the sour diesel,

Five thousand cancers are alive in your lashes,

ella se muere de hambre y se pone al sol.

Franišek Kupka

I cracked back my jaw to feign an old life
and it sounded like you

old man eucalyptus, myth – František Kupka in a fog
somewhere between Venice Beach and Notting Hill
just outside of Crazy Horse between dry pines
and consequential fire,

the skeltons of rainier cherries have tracked you
with temper and apology /
the way you carved allegory in permenant black ink
reminded you of temporary touches on younger skin

I still protect you, when the dusk is salty and palms
are humming the psalm of neighbouring retirement,

I still protect you, in the wrong monarchy,
as I still protect ghosts from the wrong side of town.

Some Loves

It is not for me to coddle what is left of this
raging, wild hope

some loves turn tricks – some loves swallow you
like pills and nestle the flush in your cheeks
like pillows – some loves disaster love, purposely –
some loves pause with anxiety that leads to adultery
and the return of Cotard’s crawling around the soul –
some loves are mine and leave popsicle imprints
across unstable mouths – some loves are hateful
and it spills over from their cocks to make sense
of love, to make it feel like a game – some loves

are fresh air.

those loves are not mine
but nostalgia        a dream
more like memories of a scent and trees in a certain light,
the 17th page of that one book        hopping down a staircase
it’s nostalgia        a dream
a quilt left behind        juicy plums        suburban alleyways,
edibles with Ben & Jerry’s in Old Town by a fountain –
some loves leave themselves behind as ghosts
to manifest when the brain is silenced
when the heart is a question and susceptible
to the reverie of returning to homesick skin

it is not for me to coddle what is left of this
raging, wild hope

Mexican Mud

Heroin makes you green, and handsy
you see a hundred men strapped in my hair, my
perfume – silent strep – you crush plums between palms
& jump from a fire escape to suck peninsular toes between
grainy teeth

                  You’re burning up.
En el viento     de la noche     desde la tierra

Half of you is dead in a mouth that triggers adolescence,
unafraid of Mexican mud, mold, clay, cantinas made from diners
deciphering the fiction of a name

just before dawn        just after blowing me a kiss
that binds to your arteries
pure, just before sunlight, a cold climate and Christmas trumpets;
your jealousy is uncomfortable; trypophobia, bed crumbs, the word “moist”
stares that have been exiled        you mock my childlike iciness
when your stumpy scripts are guilty & gorged on daughters
provinces are pulsing        nesting my eyelids

Connecting us by incendiary laces – you crush plums between palms
you crush me with soul and apprehension that melts with cemeteries
in the heart, a crush, of salty repression, your eyeballs shake, your waist
waits for numbers

                           but heroin makes you green, and handsy.


Gemini avalanche / all you do is speak, do nothing
take notes
rotten milk
Lodged in your teeth—all you do is speak too loud

and renounce magnolia liquor citing Aztec tattles.

Either someone dropped you on the head, or you
Emancipated a partial print off the death of Rueben,
He transcended away from your animations
Drinks by clockwork, a tongue of blind and bitter nightsweats

Your former valentine. Advertise dichotomy with
the head of NYU, an east village pharmacy, seeing yourself
Mirrored in a stranger’s eyes
comedy and a tragedy, hermetical mildew
Demosthenes dead in your veins

You fantasize about repression            and the confinement
of living in plain sight

June Glen

June glen and the scent of pink rosary /
Unripe peaches, the pastel candy roped
Between your fingers, primordial and not
For sale, sun – ivory sand – groped and tied
Tiptoes lazing with each other

You are more than a memory. You are
Life in action by the motion of hearts /
A sunbathe saunter in aviator glasses,
A pickpocket – a cannonball – Adonis on
His knees / sneaking sips of ale and
Craving the bread of flesh, public, parlance,
Sticky and susceptible

You have a beautiful family” – Caramel Cara
Stared at you for hours, unaffected,
Pouncing on the billows of your dialect /
Three girls and a quilt from the old man
Sighing through the screen / he wanted
To know everything – the ocean – the boardwalk –
The pop rocks / I could taste his belligerency
Fizzing in my mouth from across the sea

But I had a man sweeping his bones across
The current, trekking and tasting tamale pizza /
I remember nothing else, only him framed
Inside this moment, removing the sunglasses
and punching me with his hazel eyes that
Fucked me dead center in my nose / his
Freckles tripling and crippling my self-respect /
I cannot help it

He’s white button down – he’s aureate –
He’s cocoa, he’s nine past lives of husband
and lover, philosophy and father / he is now /
A consumption of watermelon and waves”

I Stared into his Wake

I stared into his wake, and I did not dare to see anything else –

Here lies involuntary fear, the earth converging around
Both births and an inactive set of lungs from a
Clandestine pauper who bites, who squeezes
Stumpy hands around breasts like he would an old orange –
Metre of black felicity and elbows, all of which
You forgot

Deign the freckles of deity – the resulting ash on a crown
Of monsters swaying and seizing the rotation of every sound
You make – your throat echoing into the waves of the ocean

My love becomes salt. My words become dry.
My heart becomes residue of sand and sediment
Prophesying your complaints into correlation with
My sentiment as if those strings were attached
At the hip (or the groin) staging blocks of melted
Parisian candle wax along the downtempo trod of
Inebriated flat feet that have no sense of direction and
Are connected to a body with no concept of distance

I live far from famous graves and avoid the oral fixation
To lozenge on a tongue that could impregnate me
Through all seven layers of death and spirit, four
Little flower petals pressed like algebra between the
Pages of a soiled book

I muffle the sigh of my love, as it is filled with unknown things.


Mari does not know what a painting does


dissolves into your head until you are seeing you
seeing you
tongue palette knife, the lovers – & arms
she orchestrated – & reversed, rather be red with rain – &
thrown into boiling earth

not condemning competency to earshot
odd oblong geriatric artificial afro bike smoke
who left her in the street when she was hit by a car
that was art, i saw her self-portrait behind the

it follows when you pass, where even the city is a tiny room
full of chimes, we’re merely posing for passerby            self-portrait
exhausted        self-portrait        kites nailed into ribs        self-portrait
anywhere she can migrate away from whatever you consider yourself
to be

if i have to hear about the cigar bar one.more.time.

if she has to live through this day one more time,

if organs could throw themselves off the stage — it’s gonna be alright
i wouldn’t know how to sound believable and i have no
intention of attempting to consider to try, it’s bad for you, everything,
there’s color in everything, a mutable question in every direction and
i (self-portrait) have never been able to fake that level of diction

Mari asks questions of Turkish men, and irrational detachment, suga bread
poets who were translated from spanish
there is no time for that level of geometry       repentance has been deciphering
destination for generations        what does a painting do, who doesn’t see it
rabid and lacerated, white and brown, pineapples and stanzas, self-portrait

untangling you from a dream


Blond skin,
I cannot hear the ocean
over the way we chatter at the birds

Crawl your eyes out into the wilde; I watch your tongue crack open
leaving seeds to roast between my monologues

               I would have handed you my mouth if you were hungry

A mess of horticulture breeding between the variables
that skipped positions to maintain the rhythm
where I throw myself at you, with nothing,
with pennies, with vestibular caution,

                 your bones in flamingo reflection –  you entangle
the back of my neck with a double chin and disassociate from
what a healthy lung must look like            not bonfire October
not ash
not an accident of timing locating lilac iliac     the temperament
of how you seduce spring rain in South Carolina – blond skin,

               I cannot hear the ocean
over the way your vocals strum gluttony behind me

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