Wednesday, April 2, 2014


eyes sealed
amid the grit

twirl, howl
head bent low
hands hoisting
unfavorable skies

shake down walls
to crumbling clay
tie your hands in knots

pound tunnels
into the hard earth
and vanish
from this land 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Quick Fix

A quickie poem inspired by Writing Exercise #99 by Rachel McKibbens


Fix your face, she snapped, her nerves a rat's nest of chewed wires

Fix this stale house, this persistent onion smell

Fix the broken crib, baby death rattle in every toothless coo

Fix the cat’s meandering litterbox snub

Fix the ominous car-engine thud

Fix the crumbling cement wall, spitting stones onto the sidewalk

Fix the plate I dropped when anger loosened my joints

Fix my torn back, pinched nerves, feet cramped into useless clubs

Fix my thundering ire, my soaring disgust

Fix the way I perch on the tip of a needle

Fix the day I lost weeping in bed, sky swallowed by black

Fix how we never close our eyes at the same time

Fix the paperthin void that remains between our palms when we clasp hands

Fix my broken arms, how they push when they should embrace

Sunday, March 23, 2014


Sparrows tear the slender yellow grass
and fold it between their wings.
Dogs snuff the chainlink corners,
matted thatch and loam churned
by an army of awakened nematodes
and the polearm thrusts of crocus.

The bluesky battle
of ice-borne breezes
over warm soil,
melting river water
muddying the thawed banks.

Across the city, birds of prey
dredge gravel trenches and squat,
between thunderclaps birth
mottled eggs, sea-green or onion skin stained,
dried and cooled in the curve of
skyscraper airstreams.

The spit of snow
on feathered shoulders,
lace-edges bronzed with the curl
of strong sunshine.

Our legs move in tandem;
mine bear us across scuffed bridges
while yours turn and stretch,
warm in my nest of blood.
The hand of winter, elegant fingers,
lingers on the pulse of my throat
but I exhale, beware, bewitch,
coax my heart to speak spring
into our twined souls, 
reveal our knotted roots, sipping
from the same stream.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

dream, 3/5

the storm was coming;
he netted the kittens in chickenwire
and tucked them under his body,
mother hen

Sunday, March 2, 2014


I am adrift on a four-cornered raft,
clutching a typewriter to my bruised chest.
I tie my eyes to the flat horizon, eat little,
demitasse spoons of pablum and false cheer
pressed to my lips.

I curl my tongue, l’enfant terrible,
spit poison that burns my cheek,
pull darts from between my teeth,
cough up piles of tersely whispered lies;
handfuls to pass between your prison bars,
to fill your tin cup, seal into envelopes,
braid into your uncombed hair.

At night I float from room to room on an unmade bed,
eyes open to the wide seascape of ceiling,
the terrifying expanse of white stucco, unintelligible.

I sweat out my nightmares
wrapped around a jelly jar of gin
and the memory of your eyes.

The cold light of dawn uncovers my remains,
disrobed and wan:
palmfuls of slivered glass,
and the memory of your eyes.

Fun-A-Day Art Opening

This past January I once again participated in Pittsburgh's Fun-A-Day collective, producing a series of 26 handmade postcards. My handiwork, along with an assortment of other totally radical projects, will be on display at The Mr. Roboto Project for the month of March. The show will open this Friday, March 7th, as part of the Unblurred gallery crawl. More info here: Fun A Day Art Opening. Come support your fellow crafters/artists/human beings fighting the good fight against the winter doldrums.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

walking down lowrie street / summer

suspended amid
the brick, an open cypher
of a window frame
and there, behind gauze curtains,
the smooth line of a boy's back

I wrote this tanka last summer, and today it appeared in the back of my mind, like waking up with a song clenched between your teeth. We are still trapped in the depths of winter; a solid month separates today from equinox, and we are all raw and half-mad from the brutality of the past few weeks. Today the winds shifted and carried tepid air and dangerous black clouds overhead, melting the piled snow and slicks of glass-clear ice on half-shoveled sidewalks. But winds turn quickly, and soon our thaw will retreat back into the frozen dirt and silent crocus bulbs.

But today, somehow, I remembered this poem, remembered the soothing freedom of a summer afternoon, to walk through the neighborhood without the pretense of errand and let your eyes linger on every flower, every facade. Buffered by breezes instead of cutting winds, you slow to let your skin soak up every scent hovering in the humidity. The bright sun at 7pm. The sound of a lawn mower, cicada song, our sweet, drowsy comfort in the warm months.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Upcoming Reading!

Spring's Breaking February Reading:
Nikki Allen, Jason Baldinger, Stephanie Brea and Carrie Greenlaw
Thursday, February 13th, 7pm
Biddle's Escape - 401 Biddle Avenue
Facebook Link