Anyone Can Title This

I watch
as she cuts
coke lines
with a razorblade.
The fresh scars on her arm
make me wonder
if I can get AIDS this way.

She passes a damp
over the surface,
wearing a fanged smile
as she says
“Waste not, want not.”

That finger
should have been
gently tracing
the outlines of my face,
hinting at Sunday brunches
and other things
more nefarious.

Perhaps one day
she’ll get softer behind
closed doors.
But for now,
I’ll just hold this door

I don’t want
to dig deep enough
and find out if the pain
in my chest
is the AIDS
or heartbreak.



When I was with you at your grandmother’s house in Providence when was that? Christmas? Sometime stale and drafty. Light flickered in the windows. We thought it was a lightning storm. What did you say then? I don’t remember. Something about lunch or dinner and I remember it was funny at the time. I thought about it later. You were always saying things. Anyway how are you? How is your family? I heard you were at the end of your rope. I just wanted to reach out before I left. Just wanted to tell you about that time and what it meant to me. Anyway that’s alright. Talk to you later. 


The Past

i feel ambivalence towards a lot of things in life, but i think my past is what i wonder about most. sure, i wouldn’t be who i am today without key elements of that, but has it really been worth the travail? it’s not like i’ve “arrived” at some meaningful sense of completeness or accomplishment.

if anything, i’m a ghost of my former self. with each passing day, bits of me fall off and get left behind. it’s a maudlin stagger of unepic proportions, and i’m headed towards whatever the hell kind of finish line is fated for me. until then, i’m just a zombie who used to worship another zombie.

i’m just an unformed thing.


Pushin’ Up Daisies

remember, remember,
darling girl,
how we used to get so high
that we’d forget how words work?
when we’d skip class and run fast
to the nearest park
and sit for so many hours
side by side
making crowns out of pretty little flowers
until the sky grew cold and dark;

we built a cemetery for the fairies,
for all the nymphs and fallen pixies
who lived and played and died without names,
throwing bluebells on their tiny shallow graves
and blowing dandelion seeds
up into the pallid, omniscient cherry blossom trees,
willing to witness some dire catastrophe unfold
or see a ten-pound note fall from the sky
or find a gram of unknown powder
in a wrap upon the floor;
but this time
you wished for ice-cream
and I wished for sanity
but we always wanted more;

we shared the strangest friendship,
darling girl,
made good through bizarre displays
of varying degrees of crazy,
the mutual need for affirmation,
and the traditional teenage taste for rebellion
and adventures bearing stories that are
worthy of telling the grandchildren
(despite the fact we thought we’d never
make it to twenty-one)
but there was never anything wrong
with you,
was there?

I remember how you cried when your doctor
saw through your lies,
through your many attempts
to convince him that you had ADD,
how you cried when the child psychologist
diagnosed you as a spoilt little madam,
a bratty, self-absorbed little shit
who had a loving, wealthy family
but who threw tantrums to rival any toddler –
you were jealous of me
and my perpetual sadness
and my prozac and problems
and my grotesque, overflowing madness
where your life was pretty perfect;

you wished to be insane
to have an excuse for acting like a princess
to have an excuse for bunking off school
to have an excuse for breaking the law
but I would’ve swapped brains with you
any day. I bet you count your blessings
nowadays but I’ve heard that you are
still a fucking nightmare anyway;

but there we were
making bracelets after dark
in that shitty little park,
and so we’d stay until
there were no more flowers left to pick
and by the time the autumn had come around
our love lay crunched and broken
amongst the orange leaves
lying, dying, on the sodden ground;

who knew, darling girl,
who knew? that we were fragile too?
we were unstoppable
once upon a time,
me and you against the world,
but even the brightest stars
someday have to die;

my blood is still within in your pretty veins
and your blood still swims in mine,
and I still have the scars from when
we were waiting outside a gig
down Chalk Farm that time,
playing noughts and crosses
on my forearm
with a penknife:
I think that I will always love you

our sisterhood fell apart as easily
as those daisy chains we used to make –
I guess even the most naive and beautiful connections
can be the simplest ones to break

Originally posted on themagicblackbook 23.06.16




The gods words made waves across shoreline

Sore undulation disturbed tacit rocks

Pears and grape sour in ice

Death, a rag in my mouth

Surviving through blue ice wakening life

Squalls in humid fold


The ferryman demands his payment

Three filigree coins light in pocket

Come on! Pull!

As far as my arm reaches

Mercy for the sound, mercy in surround

No …  Don’t go

Please don’t go

To be young and pound fist over bonfire

Frozen elms lending vapor in rushing air

She can give you a look that cuts glass

Breath punched hot, rolling out in baked fruity schema


Of passion and last requests

Are terrible people

As the ones we love

Let dying befuddle

We move like pretending snakes

Writhing to our inner leather

Bodies of smoldering decay

Stitched in greased fealty

Fill ourselves and our loss

Ripe in print, with ash

Leave a message

In person

The cooling of skin

Particles of dust catch in air

Mosaic blends anonymity behind metal veil

Healing lies in warm reeds,  shining with glossy foresight

We turn from river our feet slide against stones, one reveals a red center

Brave are the climbers of days, smelted silver against weave

Time is figment

Last chance

Bonfire of vanity exposed in vaunt

Destroy sacred things

Whatever we’ve said

Seen each other through so much

lost snapshots

Here is your arm reaching out

Bare witness

Walk away

Forgive me

Die in the end

Need nothing

Of memory

Debts withdrawn

You live no more

and I?

Find love

In strange arms

Riding out the night

In lethal home coming



Surviving Life/Geometry 101

When things
I like to draw lines
and straighten
my rugs.

The beer makes it hard sometimes
and things
don’t always end up
so straight.
They crisscross,
more often than not.

The uppers, though, make it easier –
I can see every grain
on the page
and it’s like a grid.
But then I can’t
draw the next day.

But when I’m sober
and I draw a line
and my rugs
are perfectly straight,

it’s my tiny little
“fuck you”
to all of Life’s curves.


Harlem June Twenty-First

The windows in that apartment were dirty. So dirty that when I walked up to them and ran my hand across it, my hand was greasy. I opened the big one and walked out onto the balcony and rubbed my hand across the other side and made a porthole in the center of the grime and we laughed as I waved to them on the inside. Later we all went to the deli and got grapefruit. We sat down at the end of the curb and held our knees and watched Terry cut the grapefruit open with a hunting knife. We couldn’t go back to that apartment, me and her, until they decided to clean it, so we stayed outside when they went home. It was dark then and the streets shined in the light of a full moon. Me and her followed a few pigeons around outside the weird hardware store where they kept them on the roof. A man rolled a bicycle by yelling something over and over again. I thought he would kill us. But life was so short then, and we had nowhere to be.