let’s all open up (20180212)

i had to work the wound
to get it to bleed again
no amount of murmuring
would entice it to cease
once it freely flowed

these closed doors
flickering living room lights
the smell of half-eaten dinners
don’t fool me

you’re all bleeding

——

for
dVerse Poets
Quadrille #50: murmur

unread letters (20170709)

i found your blood
in a red-stained envelope
waiting in my mailbox
throbbing like an organ

the thickened state of it
surprised me though

i thought it would be more akin
to ice water than a
hot, swirling pudding of
reds and browns

easy enough to take a pen
and write
–but carefully
so as not to puncture–
[return to sender]
and lift the heart-red flag
to alert the postman

i didn’t have a letter opener, you see
and i was out of stationery and
razor blades
for a proper reply

philosophical dialogue #7 (20170603)

–do not confuse forward movement
with progress, he says

he cleans a fingernail
with the point of a knife

i huddle in a corner
all of my skin
curled in ribbons
at my feet
but surprisingly
there is not a drop of blood

–why is that? i ask

he shrugs

–just forward movement, he says

–but not progress?

he offers a smile, the first in hours

—let’s see about progress
after we’ve cut your
eyes free from those sockets

organic compounds (20170206)

the spider i rescued from
the bathtub drain
lives now under my skin

she spins and sings a song
that only i can hear
her song is a vibrating wire

my blood is silk

i eat my wife and children
with a knife and fork
so i can call myself civilized

but i am an amateur
though earnest
and i clean up after myself

my blood is water
my blood is venom
my blood is water

from my mouth (20170119)

my words are spittle
on rice paper
bleached driftwood carving lines
in the sand

you enter my blood like
like a fever and hollow me out
making flutes of my bones

i pull you close
smell your hair your skin
and still i breathe hot
on the mirror
and run a finger through it

we fall in love with ghosts
and with our ideas of ghosts
and our ideas are ghosts
and our words are their
quick and dead forms

brick by brick (20160913)

i will build a pyramid
i will use bricks made
from the ashes of the dead
and blood from those who
delivered them into the cold
mother’s embrace

the mortar–ah the mortar
every word uttered
from mouths darkened
by the pitch of hate

it will rise above clouds
survivors will be forced
to climb its steep steps
in spite of the thinning
atmosphere

atonement
comes at a price
and the damned and the dead
have an infinite number
of fingers to point
at the living

dental hygiene (20160903)

the backs of my teeth
are rough
rough enough to make
my tongue tip bleed
from brushing against
them

it’s too bad because
i had so much to say
and now blood
dribbles down my chin
when i try to speak

you ask
what did you do to get
the backs of your teeth
so screwed up

i tell you through
lips coated in pink
froth
it was the words
that hammered against them
while i clenched my jaw
held my peace
the acid of every word
i forced myself to swallow
staining them
eating away at them
making them sharp
and hollow
like dead coral