postcardia (20181221)

take my heart

find it weightless

i have emptied it
day by day
scraping away
the inside lining
with bloody fingernails
pounding flat the walls
with bruised fists
burnishing the
paper-thin membrane
with my palms
until my bones
have shown through
the skin

weigh my heart on your scale
it is empty and without weight
your feather will drag
the balance down
to strike the floor
resounding like a gong

nothing in my heart

your hand may pass through it
as if through mist or
a rainbow’s shadow

o dog-headed god
watch as my heart rises
it will ascend
watch it ascend
let it ascend

matryoshka (20170507)

this hollowness aches
a matryoshka missing
its final babushka
a cold shadow
without enough room
to allow even an echo
but all too empty
the walls too far apart
the smell of wood
the odor of red paint

x marks the spot
where the heart is buried
but the map is now lost at sea
and no one searches
either on the sea
or in the woods
no one willing to dig
no one willing to open
that last casket

stopgap measures (20170122)

grab me by the shoulders
and shake me
see if you can hear
the sense rattling
in my gourd

don’t worry
my brain will stay
where it belongs
i’m not a baby
and i’ve got the neck
muscles of a brahmin priest’s
prize bull

open me up though
and you will find
my contents may
have settled
during shipping

you can always
spray some
construction foam
in there
it’ll expand
and ooze out the holes
where the sound
comes in
comes out

peace and quiet
party of two

swollen emptiness (20161002)

from that empty space
the one between the skin
of the peach and the pit
the one between your
stacked ribs
the one between your sternum
and your heart
the one that widens daily
between your drooping
whiskering ears

an ache swells in that space
never emerging
never sharp
never burning
never fully formed
but heavy
so heavy your bones groan
and your head droops
on a too thin neck

–so dramatic
just swallow it
like the rest of us
see, it tastes of salt
like taffy
like the ocean
like tears

the eternal hum (20160622)

everyone tells you
that after this life
there is another life

but no one warns you
that death waits
also for you there

and after that ending
there’s another
paler incarnation

again and again
each life more diluted
than the last
until you can’t tell yourself
apart from the sea of white noise

a revenger follows his hate
knife bloody from one life
to the next
so eager to re-enact he gladly
sheds his flesh and bones
until he and the despised

become one

and there are no more screams
only the emptiness
of the eternal hum


The Daily Post
Daily Prompt: Empty

construction (20160616)

i built a house
with my hands
laid a foundation
erected walls
raised a roof
installed windows

i attempted decoration
but stopped at one room
the would floors were okay
but the glass coffee table
and the leather arm chairs
you would have hated them

i didn’t bother to move in
i left it empty
except for those three
pieces of furniture

vessels of blood, of brass (poem 20160522)

the empty vessel
can sing, he said,
running his finger
along the rim
and causing the brass bowl
to hum

but how do you empty
your bones of your
emptiness, i asked

he struck me, then,
and rose, tucking his
silent bowl under his arm
he never returned
and i never heard his
empty vessel
sing again