Old Town Alexandria Painted in Sepia Tones

I submitted this piece to a “Poetry in Public” contest/effort in February. Received my official ‘no thank you, but please submit again’ bcc email this week. 0 for 2 on acceptances this year. But I’m happy enough to be writing pieces I like enough to let someone scrutinize, so I’ll take that as a win?

Last night, my subconscious drew creases on your face and painted your temples gray.
Today, you asked me to leave you be.
Time will turn you into a masterpiece lost on my uncultured senses.
Each gallery I admire a collection of ersatz art. You – wrought and ornate and gilt.

once we were the coast

(I wrote this piece in 2013 after a break up and then recited it at a venue in front of our mutual friends and acquaintances. If you want to take an event from super fun to awkward and uncomfortable in a nanosecond, I highly recommend reading sad personal poems).

He has long eyelashes
“Like a camel,” I always think.
They match his tawny desert eyes, still dry
while I weep oceans from my baby blues.
It’s telling: he is arid when I am stormy,
crashing into him with every tide.


I did not realize it was love.
Languid August heat in October
prolongs the blooms of spring.
I had not known anything to blossom
under swiftly darkening skies, not even
on the bluest Autumn day.
The winter rose, a myth.

I did not realize it was not love
curiously meandering through galleries.
It was not love running back the present
until our feet turned into bone
and my limbs turned into shadow.
He was not love.

My tears became dew
upon my skin. My body became an earth
for perennials; flowers grew and faded.
None would last.

The trees in the arboretum
shuttered their limbs. Damp
paths of black corduroy
partitioned decaying leaves where
tissue grew on my bones and
my limbs turned into starlight.
I did not realize you were love.

July 10th//July 25, 2010

People are a letdown.
Why, just the other day, a friend said goodbye
indefinitely as he sank into the ocean. He waved
and said to come visit when I grew gills.
(Never mind it’s taken me a millennium to grow wisdom teeth!)
Yes, people and their promises –
Let’s fly to Portland, let’s fly to Europe,
Mumbai, Afghanistan, Sardinia.
Let’s fly to Mars, so I can choke on someone else’s concept of space!

I am Jason//December 3, 2010

I am lost in the parking lot
in a sea of glistening, cold machines.
I am lost, surely drowning in my fears.

My moral compass spins wildly;
it sends me every which way.
I do not know up from down, right from wrong!

Then you part my sorrow, and I am grounded.
I cling tight, feel how solid you are to me,
breathe you in and my troubles are stilled.

I whisper to myself, “Land!”, but I look in your eyes
and they are oceans: vast, powerful.
My momentary sanity capsizes me, and I am swept

Into your currents; they draw me to your mouth.
I am safe in this intimacy, this embrace until I release
and am pulled into doubt once more.

An Inconvenience

Clouds of thought tinged millennial pink
but mine tainted red, red, red.
Words reverberate
‘cross empty festooned rooms
(each click, each clack, each flip, each flop,
each crack – the whip! – upon rib cage)
where splintered bone becomes sandy beach.

Loneliness can be lived in, put up with.
Loneliness can be constructed
blue stone by blue stone by…
the world shrinks to one.
Absence, well, who can build a house in absentia,
a house that creaks and groans and moans and
shrieks, wrought, wrought, overcome?

An Overabundance of Complacency

“She needs someone to inspire her.”
I had a Muse but he faded from me
how ghosts or lovers often do.

Patronage acquires autonomy and ingenuity, and I despair
the loss of works that loyalty will purchase.

Prosaic and dull.

“She needs someone to desire her.”
Our hands entwined as we walk, your ramblings
disengage me. I drift in the breeze.

I wonder at the mechanics of your lips, the mechanics of your speech –
How each kiss and each sentence are identical to the ones before.

Rote, rote, rot.


Mewling, starry-eyed bride sweeps black rooks under the rug
for her White Knight. Bodies amassed
in the cellar, behind the furniture
portend of distant tribulations.

The babbling brook turned bitter
and rust red. His song clangs, a new chord saws
the air while bloodied linens
are washed-dried-pressed-folded.
Let no one say a housewife is not thorough.

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