All In

(With apologies to Lydia Davis)


Heart says, “Bang head here,” and points.

Head says, “Ok!”

Ribs says, “No can do, not built right.”

Heart says, “but but but, need, I need.”

Something else adds, “Try some anxiety!”

Heart says, “AHHHH!!!! OK OK!!!!


Head says, “By jove, why!!?”

Ribs creak, “I like a good kathumpa-thump, but this is TOO MUCH!”

Heart struggles, “tttttttttttttttuh!”

Head asks, “What?! WHO??”

Heart tries again, “TTTTTTTTTTTRRRUGGG!”




Head reaches down,

pulls heart up, up

into cranium, holds tight,


“it’s ok, it’s ok”

with some pats and a kiss,

sweet Heart finds bliss.


Brain feels Heart,

looks into its shy eyes.


Ribs itself fearing

the lack of kathumpa-thump,

with cracking fingers crawls

into cranium says,

“Hey friends, nice in here.”


Brain gathers friends,

tight-grip says, “it is nice in here, no?

all of us,

it should stay like this…

I can keep us all,

no matter.”


Ribs and Heart agree.


Now it’s all in the head.

Now it’s all in the head.

Something else struggles.

We, Curio

Accidental adversary,
are you so befuddled and struck?

Coveting what she keeps covert:
the biblical, the wanderlust,

the come and go of what dangles
betwixt poles of locomotion;

with whispers, we’re colored shameful,
a curio from our circle.

I hope one day you do not fight
how two offshoots got so vested!

Not of sunshine but candlelight,
Grew from rot you two once tested!

“But why not tell?
Why not spill?”
“Simple, love,
I’ve no need, I’ve no want to kill.”

“But were I him, I do admit
that I should rather ache and die

of venomous gifts from your lips,
than stooping for that truth to find

endless power in Cupid’s whips –
weakness within what all I could.”

How little effort caused a flip
in who it is you do adore.

So yes, like him, I have been there,
your rich greenhouse to adulate

your body, soul, and heart so fair,
in perpetuum populate…

Oh, I love her!
I love her!
Cupid, Please!
Can’t I be the last discovered?

At Least

really, it’s nothing
heat lightning, sweat
drizzle creeping sillwards
crack one cross the sky
drink up, wink an eye
they’ll think what they’ll think
but I’ll think,
“at least I got to hold you
when you told me to,”

so hi there

breaking bottles (!)
green clear red and brown
like happy rat rumps
scurrying for the downpour
of my shaking to understand
what happens in the splintering —
hundreds of one color
still and exactly 
the bottle be damned
while drunks babble-cluck
from the knoll, toss more colors
that shatter, “goodbye!” “ta-ta!”
“haha! ’til then, indeed!”
shards wondering,
“if I had stayed on the shelf
would I have a better life?”
when my Docs’ careless crunching
under streetlights buzzing
delivers here ‘n’ now like,
“earth to spaceman, come in”
I blink and collect
green clear red and brown,
costume jewelry begets the crown

good lord

pretty oil in water’s got me
hooked and leering like,
at least mr cheeto bag
bracing the storm drain,
clinging for constancy,
keeps a fashion statement
of leaves from leaving.”
the sweet gutter muttering,

“let us stay the same”

holy sunset: umber, orange
purple shock zap
god scorn red, grotesque
pink panting for
Luna’s shiverwhipping to say,
“hey! get some sleeeeeeeep dude.”

and I’m all, “fuck you!”
and I flip off the moon
and I screech and I writhe
and I pray for Mr. Chinaski
and I howl for Young Werther
and I write and I sink
and I love me some vodka
and I slip ontha wine
and I get so vicious and ill
and I write and I write
and I wither and I smoke
and I jingle my key
and I burn through the hole in my wall


wrap again and again
a strand of hair
around a finger stare
my steel-toothed skin
plucked to sing
this dancer thread
coarse then smooth
all dye and time
whispered, whispered
from your head

stop, trembling hands

and bob the walk
empty shots and
mary jane I trace her
sly-eyed figure:
seat back
dash lit
rigor gone yet
hoodie drawn
“o! fitful glow stick –
we weave the walk!”

expressway day
stokes senses urgent:
the glass, the gas
so! fucking! lean!

I thunder from a t stop,
“vroom vrrroooom,
ye of smallish time,
vroom vrrroooooom!
better punch in, lest
your dancers gray –
away, away!
and FUCK Arcady
old lady!!
who needs her
who needs her
and those who need her

who need her.”

stinky train brakes
wince like a symphony
of dead commuters
a melody, some structure
and allllllllllllllll those goosebumps

when you invited me to listen
it went all the way through
my skin

dear jesus


I never felt so permeable

enwreathed in smoke repeating,
“oh no.”

the dilation

those hiccups!
violent inhalation, yet no tears
and what a look around
with those big and shinies like,
“Yes, you fools, I think we’ll be alright”

for my heart

is breathing steam against my ribs
drawing in the condensation
your portrait over and over
then your image fading
for my breath, waiting

I snap

your dancer

at least

I have

the rhythm

to a T.