Tag Archives: Poetry


You were born in June light
when the lazy rays of summer are
at their brightest

And the sun beats the backs of men
like Apollo’s stinging whip.

I was born during February’s freeze
when the snowflakes kiss your cheek
in frenzied flurries

And winter winds howl at your door
like wounded Persephone.

We are sisters—

Alike in blood and birth alone.

In thought and soul we remain
locked inside our own archipelagos

Our songs forever clashing as we
tango around the other in clumsy
stockinged feet

Arms never to reach outwards in a

Oh, Stranger—

I’ll never know your season well
enough to call it home.



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Poetry: Property of the Soul

Poetry is ultimately mythology, the telling of the stories of the soul. This would seem to be an introverted, even solipsistic, enterprise if it were not that these stories recount the soul’s passage through the valley of this life–that is to say, its adventure in time, in history.
Stanley Kunitz, from “Speaking of Poetry” Passing Through: The Later Poems, New and Selected (W. W. Norton, 1985)
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Matchstick Girl

I wanted to strike a match to our blood ties
and witness the destruction of the oak tree
generations prior to us have swung from.

Document the eradication of familiar yet
alien faces as they melted into ooze,
dripped into sludge, then became the ash
that dances with the wind.

I wanted to hold solitary vigil among the
skeletons and fleshy corpses that whittled away
before my eyes and whisper,

“At last we are finished here.”

That by doing this, I could somehow end
the screaming hurt that tells me I am
as far from belonging to the connected tissue
of our last name as I am closer to understanding
any kind of God.

I wanted to strike a match and lay waste
to the years of loving that fell on deaf ears
and gnarled closed off branches—

I wanted to be free. 

However, the desecration of blood is more
difficult than I ever imagined and even fire
cannot scorch away the memories of the

I will always care while wondering up at the
stars my inability to forget.

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For My Mother,

Wanted to construct a myriad of verse
to describe the meaning of your heart
and all its muscle memory and how it
sparkled like gold dust in a breeze.

Wanted to paint a metaphor profound
that scholars for the ages would pontificate
and ooh and aah over while they tried to
communicate to the world your importance.

Wanted to spool a tapestry of color with
words, sentences, commas and periods,
all a testament to how like a mockingbird
you sing when doubt clouds my song.

Wanted to fill blank pages with antidotes
about how the dark ages of my mind
were and are no match for the countless
moments of compassion that seep from you.

Wanted to say “I love you” in a deeper way
than the typical rushed words I give you
because you never rush or forget to say
“I love you,” no matter how difficult I can be.

Wanted to declare I am your daughter in the
most elegant prose possible and, you, my
mother in the most incandescent rhyme,
but these stanzas will never be enough.

All the “wanted” wants in the known universe
could never capture the pricelessness of what
you mean to me: My Giving Tree. My forever
friend. My shelter in the storm. My homecoming.

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Tangled emotions snarl like hair caught in my throat.

It cascades to the stomach as foul as tepid water.

Tresses of sludge pool into the center of me,
Whispering doubts as sharp as any puncture wound.

I shake myself tipsy from side to side—–
This anxiety is overwhelming.

Suddenly I am thinking about ghosts and hauntings
and monsters under the bed.

Suddenly my mind breaks and I am thinking I wish
I wasn’t weighted down and was soaring like a bird.

Suddenly there are too many suddenlies to think about.

My head pulsates in sickening time with my heartbeat,
Thunderous like the boom of Niagara Falls.

I feel hollow in my limbs;
Body corroded like an old bicycle.

Then a tsunami—–

Tears creep across the skin in waves and crescendo
because melancholy is a tenacious tenant.

It bursts forth from my chest enraged.
A mob of sob’s rioting.

Lungs constrict as airwaves shut down due to all the traffic.

It jangles my soul until I am sure I hear shards of glass
clattering when I walk in the morning.

It spits on me with Its manied gorgon heads
as I tell myself not to look It in the eyes.

It becomes my other shadow always ready to
hinder my resolve with a new spiteful phrase.

To It I am Ophelia—–

A lady in need of a cool long drink—–
An endless sleep

Another useless dreamer.


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There is no distance,
Long in mouth or wickedly wound,
That could ever make me say,
” He is not worth fighting for.”

There is no measure of time,
However meandering its ticks
Could convince my heart,
” He is not worth loving for.”

There is no obstacle,
Viscious in weight and size,
Could stop my mind from thinking,
” He is not worth yearning for.”

And there is no cirucmstance,
However painful it may scold
Could convince my soul,
” He is not worth living for.”

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Beautiful Translations


(Via penamerican:)

、、、 、 stones single, or in handfuls

throwing them

to the sea

I foresee„,

no ‘good or bad’ fortune

but whether or not there is a song.

Sayuri Okamoto, winner of a 2014 PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grant, translates the aurally and visually stunning poetry of the ‘untranslatable’ Japanese poet Gozo Yoshimasu. You can also read Okamoto’s essay on her translation process here.


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Lost Things

I lose things;
Important things.

Not the keys or the phone.
Not my insurance card.
Not your house payment.

I lose pieces of myself;
I lose the weight of your love.

In myself I have lost confidence
And have been robbed sanity
And the precious tissues of my heart—-


In you I have lost your trust
And crushed you with my baggage
And smothered all your devotion away—

For good.

You see,
I lose things;
Important things.

My dearest friend and lover,
I have lost you (I can feel it).

Lost just as quickly as I had won you,
Thanks to the shadows of my past
And my unshakable chains.

Too broken to love;
Too misshapen to woo,
You turn your back on me.

In your absence I lose more,
Like my smile and my laughter
And the notion of ever after’s.

I lose things;
Important things—

And whatever else of myself remains,
To hell with it all—-

I am nothing without you.

Not a goddamn thing.

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Red Giant

Whatever I am isn’t enough and
Whatever is enough isn’t what I am.

Makes me lose sleep most nights,
Praying to a negligent God
Wishing like a child for miracles;

Wishing for more of myself.

Wishing I were as scalding bright as
A dying star just before it supernovas.

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