Friday May 5, 2017 at JJ Bean
my family speaks poetry through me as I walk from my house to a place that isn’t
I am stopped on the sidewalk with the urge to take notes
They are dictating faster than I can write
The stories from our childhood, inspiration enough after the drought
I am greedy with rain and the secrets of our youth
the clues to finding solace in a memory built from our old garage,
the time we picked strawberries at the farm and made milkshakes,
the time we sang to Mariah Carey on the back porch and I made everyone
turn around to listen when it was my turn,
the time we got hats with the olympic rings on them at Mcdonalds,
the time we rode around on horses while they defecated,
the time I asked my older cousin if we could have a “talk” because I was feeling left out, the time they got the shots for whipping baby field mice against the brick
Thursday May 4, 2017 at JJ Bean
Thursda May 4, 2017
My aunt Barb tells me that she wrote herself a note when she “wasn’t straight” about how the “negativity is too loud in her head” and “cutting through all her good thoughts”. We (the family, collectively) got her into medicinal marijuana after her husband passed away last June. We wanted him to try it but he refused to smoke the stuff even after we showed him all the videos of people his age trying it. Barb is in love with it. She calls me at least once a day with her “new thoughts”. Yesterday she told me that “the sky is trying to kill her” and that she “would go but there is laundry to be folded”. In a meeting with the cousins, we secretly discuss Barb’s usage and pat ourselves on the back for helping her out. Then her daughter, Dina, raises her hand timidly. “My mom says she wants to try crack next!”
Tuesday March 22, 2016
On the artist program guide site
We met when I was damp with summer between
my temples the handlebars of my bike luring
in all the strays
We met when I drank too much tequila and ate
onion rings at the diner where the man promised
they weren’t fried in the same oil
as the chicken fingers
We met when I glued eyelashes to my lids even
though I’ve always gotten compliments on the
ones that are already there
We met when I was mixed up with things I
didn’t know the consequences of unsafe
sex in bathroom stalls and blowjobs on
counters of restaurants where you julienned
the perfect carrots
Tuesday November 24, 2015
from a poem by bell hooks
it was that time of gold
the innocence of maple butter
slathered on cheeks kissed by the wind
a typhoid of hormones
your fingertips a garter snake in
the zucchini flowers
it was that time of innocence
too much lavender incense from
the dollar store
chipped nail polish tea leaves
empty fortune cookies celebrated
leaving more room for our dreams
Wednesday October 28, 2015 at JJ Bean
A Thin Green Mist
He stands at the window. She ducks beside him.
Do you think they can see us?
No. Don’t even say that.
Well they could!
No they could not. Stop.
You know they could, come on, that’s part of the fun…
He slips his hand down the front of her blouse.
What, I’m just participating. It’s what they want…
He nibbles on her ear.
I don’t know if I can…
Shit! They just looked over here!
Good. Let them watch. That’s what we’re doing.
I don’t want them to know I’m watching!
I kind of like it…
She runs to turn the light off.
They’re really going at it, huh.
He unbuttons her blouse slowly.
Thursday October 8, 2015 at JJ Bean
Thursday, October 8, 2015
I am revisiting the spot in my brain where I first made the decision to love you. I’m trying to be objective here, so don’t go trying to insert your memories. I know when I told you. I said it first, cause I always do, and I knew you felt it but you were scared of me and didn’t want to be the one to risk it. That’s a pattern for you. I am always the one to risk it. That’s a pattern for me.
In this tiny shoe box in my mind, I can see very little around the moment. There’s no colour. There’s no music. It’s a rainy day and we’re sitting at a bar. I don’t know what we’re drinking. But I know I like you and I know you like me. I’m glad there wasn’t some showy fireworks display going off in my body. It was a simple and true moment and it felt like it had made a home for itself in all the soft parts of me. You said something easy like, Have you ever mixed BBQ chips with chocolate chips? And I said something easy back like, I don’t know how I haven’t done that already. It was somewhere between that and the way you kissed me on the street before you walked away.
Friday, July 10, 2015
On Writing Zion
I see four stages
You’re standing on one of them
Your skirt makes a tulip around you
Your hair a halo
On the stage to your right
Your cousin Miles
His eyes are closed
He’s thinking about algebraic equations
and whipped cream
On the stage to your left
The man from the dry cleaner on 1st
Unsure why he’s there
Happy to be included
He lives alone and
rarely gets to spend Sundays with others
On the final stage
Trying to remember this
Using any means necessary
A notebook between my teeth
A pencil behind my ear