What’s Your Damage?

When the furrow in your brow
Is more than I can manage,
I will whisper to your temple,
“What’s your damage, 
What’s your damage?”


Talking to My Toes

I’m bothered by the immensity of the world, and the smallness of me. By the poetry that happens when two people look at each other, that is never written about. I’m bothered by the songs that are being written as my fingers peck these keys, and how I’ll never hear them. And by the knowledge that somewhere there’s an artist painting his soul onto a canvas, and I’ll never know the look on his face. I’m bothered that there are books whose words could shake me to the core, if only I knew that they’d been written. I’m bothered by the way that I feel the pulse of the world as it hurries quickly by me, passing me, giving me a friendly wave because it knows that all I really want is to hurry along with it. Instead I feel roots sprouting from my toes, burying themselves purposefully into the soil before I get any ideas that I may want more than the ground that I’m standing on, and the faces that form blurs as they walk past. My body has always fought my mind, like this. And before I know it, I find myself bent down, one hand cupped to my forehead  to block the harassing rays of sunlight, talking to my toes, all ten of them, saying, let me go, I wasn’t meant for this.


I am not to be found in the fine print, nor the main article. You will not find my name next to familiar words that you can brag to your friends about. I cannot be trusted to show up on time, and you may as well forget about an apologetic phone call after I neglect to show up at all. If you push me towards greatness, I’ll punch you in the gut and run. If you push me at all, I’ll write you off without a goodbye, or a blink. I am not the next big thing, and I never even stay any place long enough to be somebody’s neighbor. You will find me distastefully disorganized and clumsy. You will find that I’ll never ask for your help, and you’ll want to give it to me anyway for reasons that you can’t understand. I was called the queen of manipulation for this reason, once. For the way that my silence can be maddening. Too polite. Expecting not a damn thing from anyone. 
But how can a person be bleeding to death and not cry out for help?
Don’t you want our help?
Let us help you. Let us, let us, let us.

The problem with me, is that I don’t want the help. And I certainly don’t need the company. I am a mess that I can handle on my own. I am alone because that’s the choice that I’ve made. 
You’ll be angry with me when I don’t return your calls. You’ll be sickened when you hear that I’ve found a new town, a new lover, a new life. You’ll think I’m running from you, forgetting you.
But I was never running from you. 
I’ve been running from everything ever since my feet hit the ground, twenty-one years ago. 
It was never about you at all. 

When the Sirens Stall

If I say your name aloud
You’ll become too real
And I’ll remember the way
You knew parts of me
No one else will ever know
And I’ll be saddened,
Not by the loss of you,
But by the loss of those parts
Of me, the way they’ve become
A secret again,
For me to know, 
And you to recall
When the sirens stall
And the silence
Returns me
To your midnight-hour
Like a poem you meant
To write, then forgot about,
And then all at once 
The words came back to you
With twice the urgency,
Twice the intent,
Twice the importance,
I’ll return to you in that way,
But never again
Will I dance between your fingers,
But you’ll remember how it felt
Vivid, you’ll say. 

Poet’s Conundrum

Verbose is a fancy word
For someone who has
Too many words,
But my words
They float,
Are so much more when
They’re in my head,
And the poems
That I never
Down, they’re the most
Honest, the most
Because when I pick up
A pen, the words 
Shift, they float,
They become 
Different entirely, And
No one will ever 
Know what I 
Really did
To say, they’ll only know
What they read, and 
They’ll believe it’s 
The doctrine of
My soul, the 
Cry of my
Being, when all it truly 
Amounted to being,
Was the best I 
Was able to
Come up
While trying to catch
Floating words,
Words that 
Said so 
More, when they only
Existed to me, in 
The corners
Of my



Wanton Prophet

I’m a wanton prophet.

I have words 
And you have ears. 

Accepting the truth
Is like baring naked flesh.

I called you a deity
You said not to call you a goddess
I didn’t worship you
Well enough

I am a drifter
I couldn’t keep you
Like a secret mistress,
I was wearing rags, and 
You wanted a life I couldn’t even
Give myself.

You had no explanation
I wouldn’t have heard you anyway. 

Bones turned to ashes
You loved another
Looked with eyes
That once only saw me

If you think I believe you haven’t
One complaint
About your new muse,
I know you too well.

If you think I believe 
You don’t find me in between
Scribbles and words meant for 
Her on the white of your page, 
Be damned. 


I’ve Been Meaning to Write About You

I’ve been meaning
To write about you,
I mean,
To really, really
Write about you

Lately I’ve been writing
About someone else’s
Broken heart,
To run mirthlessly 
From writing about
My own

Lately I’ve been
Putting you away 
In boxes,
And wearing your jacket
Like it was mine all along.

Lately I’ve been
Smoking my coffee
And drinking my cigarettes,
It’s all the same
Now that you’re the ash
And I, the flame

I keep your letter
In the bottom of a basket
Of dirty laundry.
I think that’s ironic.

I’ve been meaning 
To write about you,
Bought myself some time
Before I found you in
My verses,
And now you’re in them,
And I can mean to write about you
For several days
To come.