Forest For

Never so acutely focused

While so helplessly detached

House built within my room

Without me hearing a single

Hammer blow

Only think to look up

When I stop looking down

The nail in my own foot

Through and through

Pointing to the new ceiling

So encompassed

By my own pain

I don’t see the art

He made

Work of children


For the play of adults

Not managing tears

Real or forced

The stakes are too high

Serves me right

Should sweat

Streak across the floor

Hope the skin catches

Pinches in the grain

Remember the trees

Cut down with my axe

The next time I

Curse the sun


Beg for shade

And burn

Union Jack

Union Jack

Straight lines

Crisp crosses

Bows a frown

When it sees me

A distant daughter

Opposite of austere

With constant

Tears threatening

Like a thunderstorm

Over Westminster






The changing of the


Upper lip so drooped

Its thinness a gift finally

Less weight to drag

A smoother slide for

Snot from crying noses

A dissociated joker

Of self-depreciation

Waiting to be stopped

At the gate

An ancestral Welsh mother

Fingers her own hankerchief

Embarrassed for me

I want to revolt

Throw taxations

Into the sea

And be free

But I can’t

Jumping in the

Sea before

I change sides

Even understanding the


Of reconciliation

I can’t see past

My own




When I was in eighth grade, I got detention. The only one I ever would.

With another girl who also went on to be a writer. A good one. A real one.

We were not detention girls.

The plan was to create a time capsule. Capture the essence and sparkle and unrest of 1991and save it from decay for a rainy day.

Keep a time that was so hard in the living but might be passingly pleasant with distant remembering.

What about putting something precious on a shelf while you still want it in your hands

Like taking freshly delivered flowers and hanging them upside down instead on a wall instead of right way up in a vase of water.

Keeping something to remember before it wilts. A memory of beauty before you put your hands around and turn it ugly with oiled prints

Shelf out of the way

Shelf I can’t see

Shelf I’d like to build in my heart if only

I had the support beams

To handle the screws


Enough to get a hand on

Enough that if it fell the

Memory would break

At least one bone

Want to know it’s there

But not know

Because I don’t know

Leave it there long enough

Might be there for

The next tenant

Cobwebs and dust

Encroach and envelop

So it becomes part

Of the timber

That maybe you’ll forget

When you pack your boxes

And downsize

When your life

Moves on

Or you pry the wood

And take it



Paint chips

Reaffix to ribs

And fascia


And brittle

Carry your shelf

Until it becomes


Dust in your veins

Cobwebs in your valves

And the memory

Is all that lives


Up down

Up down

Left right

Left right

Here gone

Here gone

Long night

Long night

Pushed away

Pushed away

Left alone

Left alone

Held together

Held together

Edges sewn

Edges sewn

Blanket tossed

Blanket tossed

Heat apart

Heat apart

Space together

Space together

Smothered heart

Smothered heart

Tangled cords

Tangled cords

Electric out

Electric out

Written words

Written words

Spoken shout

Spoken shout

Risk divided

Risk divided

Assets tied

Assets tied

Chosen familial

Chosen familial

Defeat denied

Defeat denied

Persistent circle

Persistent circle

Hopeful love

Hopeful love

Shelved disappointment

Shelved disappointment

Expectations shove

Expectations shove

Scared restricted

Scared restricted

Movement dropped

Movement dropped

Hopeful foolish

Hopeful foolish





Can’t Talk Yet

Sometimes, World Poetry Day is missed because of brutal fucking ignorant mental illness lapses. Anxiety and depression. The pneumonia was easier, gang. By a mile.

Listening to confessions from a mother

And songs respecting the struggle of abortion

I cried

At least the baby didn’t die

She said

I smiled for the first time

In miles

She’s been in

The car with



Half of


Many times

Can’t talk about it

Not to someone

Being so nice

To me

An indicator

Of true illness

Doing it again

Misplacing comfort and kindness

Where I want spark

Two lengths of jumper cables

Battery leads corroded


A color I knew

Wearing it in the crowd

Staring the stage

Wanting my own light

Coveting conversation

Forsaken for

Hugs that don’t need feet

Those come from both

Sets of Arms

I’m told

Cemented you chipped me

Not enough to be broken

But enough to be surrounded

By ceramic pieces


Disconnected enough

That every edges finds

Your soles

When you get out of bed

In the morning.

Can you sprain your

Diaphragm crying?

Or is that just


Setting up housekeeping?

Rattling pans

And nailing down


Planning to stay

Until the foundation


Tucked with wool

Set aside from

The destruction

Handed gently


Purpled with


Color of a fresh


Waiting for the

Ease of pain

That comes with

Greens and yellows.

Twitching to a


Melting to a


Stealing comfort

Even though

It’s freely given.

Some things

Can’t talk about.

Not yet.


Flowing down my leg

Just like my book

No pain

That I can feel

Only what

I can see

Should see



If only

I’d stop

Looking at myself

Pouring out of me

Like feelings


Like purulence from

A re-opened scar

Like rancid

Avalanche of garbage water

From the truck I

Backed up to your door

Dumped my shit

Without ever giving

Ever yours

In exasperation

And exhaustion and

Maddening spinning

And swirling

This side of intolerable

Around the same





Drain that

I felt

That I was

Bivalves w(hole)

letting out

The rot

Sucking up

The reassurances

Leaving a mess

No casual plumber

Could possibly


Everyone in the room

Is frustrated

And wet

My stain

More than Neptune’s ocean

Could fathom correction

You called them ours

Spilling so I wouldn’t

Be the only clumsy


Drain in the room

And I loved that

I would have sat

With you all night

Smelling like our scotch

Letting our shower

Wash it all

Down the drain

Non Ho Farfalle


Those tuggings and

Pullings at leads

And tendons

And lungs

Begging for action

Divine in the moment

Made to break the next day


We aren’t all fed

On myths and moonlight

These things are needed,

In mind,


For solace and inspiration

And getting upright

Some days

But most days

Hard days

Sad days

That not even

Butterflies will fix

Mercurial moths

That show you one

Form then

Leave in another

Not light

Not gentle

As their name


But toothy like wolves

Weighted down


A sinking ship

Surrounded by



A bowl of pasta

Set for me

A extra large sweatshirt

Smells unlike me

a sit down

A trust that

Isn’t questioned

On paper or

In mind,


We don’t

That’s the wings of

A thousand

Not under your lungs

But beneath your feet

Grateful for solidity

Solidarity with space

And heart

And truth

Warm, Wrapped in wool

Not fragile gossamer

Held in arms

Strong as oak

Living with




And known


Rather than butterflies