under a rock (20170724)

i crawl upon the earth
on my belly
like a snake
without benefit of limbs

i could coil myself
into a figure eight
the symbol for infinity
or shed my skin
and other symbol
this time for renewal
and immortality
or bite my tail
encircling the world

but the world has been
unkind to snakes
and i think i would
rather find some shade
than be a symbol

no new skin (20170531)

i have nothing
left to lift
not my hands
not my eyes
nor raise my ire

peace is all
slowness that is stillness
unmoving like summer rain
or heavy syrup
heavy as the earth
beneath my feet

i shed my skin
one last time
with no intent
of emerging clad
in a new glistening

sympathy for the snake (20161208)

teeth are gross
it’s your skeleton
tearing through
your skin
where it’s weakest
where the “in” funnel
opens the food tunnel
to that snake inside you

we’re all the serpent
in the garden
trying to slough off
to live forever
on someone else’s dime

but who wants to live
forever when your bones
are trying to escape
by ripping to shreds
everything that tries
to enter you

it got so damn hard
with these extra limbs
the difference between
sliding off a sock
and struggling out
of a straightjacket

how the stars came to be (20160625)

when the world was new
and the sky was still
a thing of darkness
the animals strove to
fill it up with light

the lion
climbed the highest tree
filling the air with
the thunder of his roar
he became the sun

the fox
curled into a circle
near a lake where
her reflection blurred
and she became the moon

while the cat and the snake
argued over who would accompany
the fox in her nightly journeys
they did not see the finch
pluck hair from the lion’s mane
from the fox’s tail
and scatter them
through the darkness

on ruminating (20160609)

paranoia sits in my chest
a fist clenched around my heart

so quick it must be a snake
envenomed and eager to strike
every thought a judgment
every word a pointed finger

it’s so boring
to try to not be that way
so exhausting that i
let my gorge rise
open my mouth
and let the snake out

shadow puppet of a serpent
a hand shaped like the devil’s head
fingers curled into a fist
but still spitting poison
from my bloody, beating heart

Poem 20160321

extruded from my own life
like a play doh snake
i await my new skin
with trepidation

will it be scales this time
or flames
or just ashes

transformation is
always like childbirth
only you’re forcing yourself
out of your own birth canal
–if you have one–
and you’re never really sure
what’s coming
until it’s out

Poem 20150629

the snake gets called out
for being
depending on who’s translating

adam and eve just
took advantage of his offer
recognizing in it
a kindred spirit
an alimentary canal
that slithered on its belly
consuming and expelling
everything in its wake
an ouroboros, a midgard serpent

the whole human condition
wrapped up in a constantly renewing skin
desire and rejection moving us forward

fear and anger and compassion
like arms and legs that sprouted later
and tried to pull us in different directions
many masters of a single-minded
eating and shitting clockwork