Slide

Slide

The climb up

fills

every step seems

to soak up through

and build from the sole

to the soul

so that it’s not higher

but more than

greater

above a tally of

numbers

incalculable

What can’t be seen

or figured

when stared up at

from the negative

Equal and opposite

up and down

every contraction

a waiting relaxation

resistance

to elevating

The view from the

peak

mind piqued

that this is the same air

how

when it feels different

less pressure than

on the ground

that can’t be

The ground is waiting

to prove

the thesis

Up is fleeting

Down is stasis

The slide is

inevitable

Only friction

the coefficient

we collude

to ignore

or ennoble

Bottom collecting

its specimens

to return

to the path

For another climb

Her Light

She is

not your spotlight

Focusing attention in the darkness

calling everyone to look

So you see

What it is you can do.

Not your search light

To guide you into harbor

when you’ve sailed your ships

Against warning

Into black and chopped waves.

Not to blame for

Being the siren who lured you back.

She was singing for herself

Not the mirror you held up

So she could see the faults

Not her hand that

Turned and burned you instead

The silence of your fury

Louder than the

Sighs of your disinterest.

Not your torch,

to frighten back creatures

You don’t understand.

She has her own monsters

creeping to her doors

and learning her language.

Carrying torches

Only grinds down

arthritic arms.

She put hers down.

She can’t do it

Too heavy.

The lights are too bright.

headaches are

far too dug in and planted

Photosynthesis the

Power line to

Migration.

Her own screwed in

Halogen

Fluorescent

Mixed white and blue and

Orange

Not matching when seen back

in her balanced eyes.

Her palms aren’t

Scarred and fibrous

As as her heart

to hold the light bulb

In place with bare hands.

It’s low watt but

Still

her fingers blister

fluid leaking

slipping

And she doesn’t have the grip

To twist

Your glass fragile

Illumination

In place.

She is candles and

altars with incense.

Low glow and quiet alone

With her disciple.

One you whispers,

knowing a harsh breath

kills the flame.

Happy in the room

She left dark.

The sun rises tomorrow

Isn’t it pretty to think

So dawn soft

Smoothed hair

Hazy unfocused

hands

Touched in shadows.

Chasing away the light

For just a little longer

Not needing to be

The brightness

But wanted to be

the still silhouette

Casting her own

Direction.

From her light.

Falling Smiles

Laugh

That’s it.

Go on now.

It’s okay. It’s hard.

Try again

That’s not quite…

you have laughed before?

Right?

No problem. Start smaller.

How about about a smile?

Just at the corners.

A bit up. Towards the sky.

A little on each side.

Little more.

Maybe a little more.

You’re twitching.

Oh dear.

How else can I explain this…

Remember when something good happened.

Tell me how you felt. Feel what your face does.

Not like that.

I’m not putting this well.

Christmas morning?

Warm bath after being in the cold?

A hug on the couch?

Yes. You’re nodding. Yes.

And…?

Nothing.

Nothing?

Are you quite sure you’re not a sociopath?

No, no, I’m kidding.

Maybe it wasn’t funny.

I’m sorry.

No, please don’t be upset.

I only wanted to hear you laugh.

That’s not laughing.

That’s…

Oh dear.

I’ve done this all wrong.

Maybe…

Damn.

I’m sorry.

I’ll go.

….trip….

…..fly….

….crash…..

Ow.

Did you…

See?

You did.

You smiled.

I guess I’ll have to keep falling.

Exposed Wire

The electric doesn’t zing 

Because the wiring is frayed
Changed the bulbs

Changed the switch 
No light 
The other one

Half of the circuit

Turning on

Turning up
Still dark
Still static
Only risking 

entrance, exit of 

current 

being the conductor

not the dispersive
Peel the burn

skin charred 

from faulty connections
Turn on the light. 

Madam or Madman

Photo captured at Black Forge Coffee

Or both. 

It is exhausting having a foot in both worlds. 

This week I was a therapist and a patient. (Humble plea: Yes. Hospital workers can be brusque and harried. I know and I’m sorry.  But please try to be gentle with us. We sometimes come to work as sick as the patients.)

Sunday I sat at home alone begrudgingly doing housework and later I was a partner, far less begrudgingly listening to jazz and story idea and fears over wine. He was much a far better partner to me days before, making sure I had food and wine (there are commonalities in both my worlds) and love and rest. 

Saturday I was a single mother and a performer. 

I watched my son accept an award for his art. 

It is a better drawing than I will ever accomplish as I have zero artistic capacity in this realm. I was as proud as if he’d stood up and criticized a Congressman. Surrounded by conservative values and history, I stood observing and silent. 

Hours later, I was on stage myself, performing a movement and poetry piece I created entitled Bare. I stood among an incredible collection of  women, femmes and female-identified artists. They opened their souls and bled poetry and performance art about feminism, gender roles, heartbreak, self-abuse and body positivity. We loved naked bodies and what they can portray. I spent the night alternating. Attracted then repulsed. Laughing then crying. Unable to look away then covering my eyes because there were moments that were simply unbearable  to watch because they were so raw and real and pained. 

I don’t know if what I offered of myself on stage was any good. It know it hurt. 


And that’s usually a good sign. 


I know I was honored to share space with these mavens. 

The day reminded me of how much I try to keep myself in two places, be two people, fulfill two roles. 

Straddling worlds means I am trying to keep a grasp on everything between my legs. My thighs may be thick and strong but they can’t maintain this tonic contraction forever. 

Metaphorical muscle fail also brings to the brink the eventuality that as these two worlds shift, I won’t be able to bridge the gap and I’ll rip down the middle. Torn into halves. Unable to make meaning in any plane of my existence because I’ll be in pieces. 

I want to pull the worlds together. I want love and inspiration. Bedtime stories and burlesque with fake blood. School projects and hearing my own plays read. Kisses with passion and quiet handholding when the fears come. 

I want to be madam of my own house. 

I want to be the madman that brings the wildness in so the ones I hold close can see the feral beauty and learn of bravery. 

Madam and Madman. 

Both. 

All. 

What’s The Difference?

 

What’s the Difference?

A mile?

A minute?

A Saturday out?

A look?

An imbalance?

A whiskey, then a stout?

What are the chances
across that table
among that smoke
and sound
that we found
what the other wanted.

Two
of a kind
of a pair
both at the table,
cards to the chest.

We finally showed them.
And they were…

Different.

Un-matched.

From different houses.

Of course they were.

Hearts
and spades.

Strings
and blades.

Shouldn’t you
fold
when the cards
don’t match?

Isn’t that how
you save your skin,                                save yourself

if you have any hope
of playing another day?

When you go in,
and in, and all in
again,
and there’s nothing left
if you leave it behind.

If you lose,
you can’t always start again
because everything
is everything
and you don’t even get
to keep the cards.

You want…

You want…

What?

Why did you toss your coins
and pull up a chair
in the first place?

What were you hoping to win?

Or were you just playing,
to see where they fell?

Smile and shucks
and flick the ash,
pick another gamble,
round up your cash.

I think it’s more than chance.

Because we don’t match.

Or maybe we do. 

It might be we’re the same

faces worn off

from the heat of the 

game. 

Under the varnish,

under the belt,

suites, signs and numbers

embraced as they’re dealt. 
But I don’t think so
We are the difference
that seems to make
all the difference.

What is the difference,
if we aren’t?

Is it rigged?

Up our sleeves and

behind our backs?

Can we still play?

Can we win?

Can we lose?

What’s the difference?

Be Nice, She Said

Be nice, she said

screamed, 

flailing, pushing

Hands flat, open, extended

In avoidance

Wondering why
He didn’t come closer. 

Be nice, she said

Cried as she brought up

imaginary, claimed forgotten

Perceived slights

From a year and a lifetime ago.  

Which never were,

But damned if she won’t use them

As an excuse to bury herself

In the dirt of hurt

Than she’s planted and tended

On her own 

Better than any lover. 

Be nice, she said

Hid behind her own 

Insecurity

Asking for kindness

Despite, undeserved,

Unreserved 

That she begs for

Without words. 

Warmth 

In her ice. 

Forgiveness

From her homicide

And her crucifixion 

To her own cross 

I can’t be nice, she said. 

I forget. 

I locked it away. 

Lost. 

Be nice, she said. 

Forget with me. 

Help me remember. 

Be nice.