and i woke up in the middle of a stampede of wild horses
hooves stomping against the dust i moved like the wind
and in the monstrous thunder of our unstoppable pack
i felt unstoppable

fifteen hundred heartbeats per second
we veered down the mountain passes beneath a sun god
that gave good reason just to be
just to be four heels clacking against the earth

we don’t always riot for some specific pamphlet
sometimes we just need to remind the earth
that we deserve to be heard

and i looked back
past the mass of wild horses behind me
and there past our great herd
was a looming shadow just past the horizon
and i had to take a second to ask myself

how long have we been doing this?
and what exactly are we running from?



i’m in the middle
of some terrible room of a
poem and you come
waltzing in

reeking of your own perfume
throwing your scarf back
heels clicking wooden floors
you hang your hat
on the hat rack

pinning up paintings
rearranging the furniture
making yourself comfortable
on my comfy couch

you’re opening the blinds
when i want them closed

for the love of humanity
can you please stop gnawing
at my table legs
you stomp around like temper tantrums
you turn the t.v. up
so god damn loud
in this terrible room
of a poem

of all the things
the worst of it is
when you kitten-eyed ask me
if i want to come to bed

my bed

the place i go to dream
of a room of a poem
where i pollack plaster the ceiling
with walls as tall as clyfford still
rothko windows with kooning awnings

and you come in
all militant alarm clock
black leather and lace
and curl up beside me
god dammit

i’m leaving my own apartment now
it’s thirty degrees and i am leaving
seeking couch, seeking strange angels
to replace your familiar monster
sweet and sincere and soft lips

you kissed like you were jumping off a bridge
into the atlantic of my ocean

god dammit!

you’re living in the couches –
all of the strange couches!

i sit

at a bar

in the breath of denver

and the coffee tastes like your comfort
the music
is full of your blood pressure
the way everyone is yelling kind banter
is the opposite of our silent guernica
it is the opposite of our deaf separation

where i find myself

painting pictures of you
to pin to the paper thin walls
of this terrible room
of a poem



i am searching for something
and i don’t know that i yet know
what that something is
but still i search
in the gardens of the city
in the concrete streets of nature
i lift up the grass like a rug
or a skirt
and i tuck my head under
in search for something

so gallantly i draw my long dagger
and i rush into battle
the knight of swords
the king of recklessness
i wear my thorn crown
around my neck
like a noose

and i wear the stars
like eyelids

the sun like an hourglass
the moon like a pill
stuck under my tongue
and swallowed

one thousand arduous years
in the den with the lions
a fifth of my life
weighing the weight
of a pound of gold
against my jellyfish soul

against the current
the frequency
i paddle my canoe
through the backyards
of suburbia

that’s right motherfuckers

and i’m not pulling this thing over
until i get to the something
that i search for

and yeah
and hallelujah
ring the gong

we are all
so tiny small
inside of this overpriced
a marble
in the pocket
of some shithead kid
who doesn’t realize
how damn busy we’ve come
to be

so sweet dreams
my dear lost nation
we’ve traveled the world
east to west
but we left our damn hearts
on ice in a cooler
on a train
somewhere in india

and we’re searching for something
i’m searching for something
and i have a strong feeling
it’s somewhere in india
it just might be
and if not
oh well i guess?



and where is it that the door moves you to?

to swing wide open like a gust of wind
announcing itself to the party guests
like a blonde bombshell like the atom bomb
it yells for its authority
desperate for you to realize that it exists
and on the other side of it, there is something
a door, a question mark on the very tip
of an unsuspecting sentence?

and where is it that the door moves you to?

to madness? to acres of green anxiety
lying across the grass back breaking
in the ultraviolet sunlight?
to decay? to some strange triumph?
a queen moved gracefully into a
bishop’s territory?
a murder of ugly, unappreciative
ideals? is it just a factory of clay
ideologies thrown into
the fire? is it worth it? where are we
in time?

i came here to tell you to be careful of doors.

i know i sound like i don’t know
what i’m talking about
but that is just because maybe
you have never crossed through a door.
the respectable type who pays taxes
and doesn’t cross fences.

burst forth from
what you’ve been taught
like cubism.

take every ounce
of knowledge you’ve acquired
and throw it
out the window
like a schizophrenic cat.

this is defenestration.
the act of throwing something
out the window.

to defenestrate.

this is revolution.
not some temper tantrum
on the nightly news.
not some child
yelling at the television set.
but to actively seek

to see
that the eyes
are not at fault
but the mind
for misinterpreting them.

and where is it that the door moves you to?

where does east start
and west end?
if you say california
i will scream.

the door moves you
to the other side of the railroad track.

could be a love note
or a notice of eviction.

but the point isn’t the room:
the point
is the door.



i was sitting around my house, cooking dinner for myself, while i was working on some writing, and meanwhile i was in the other room taking a nap – when i was done with my nap i asked myself to sit still.
what are you doing? i asked myself, i’m gonna paint a portrait of you, i said to myself, so sit still. i am very fidgety though, this i know about myself, so the portrait came out a little bit off.
when it was done, i took a break from cooking, me and my self just looked on at the painting, trying to figure it out.
the eyebrows are a little off, i said. i think you’re right, i said. there’s just something about it that doesn’t quite capture the nature of me. i abandoned the painting and went back into the kitchen to continue working on dinner.
i asked my self what i was making from the other room and i yelled back homemade soup! it feels like a soup kind of day. yeah it does, i said, shuffling through my dirty clothes, scattered on my bedroom floor.
hey, i said to my self. don’t get too down about that self portrait. it’s pretty good. i think i had this strange look on my face.
when the soup was done i poured a bowl for my self and i sat around the living room watching documentaries on dead artists. frida’s my favorite, i said. she’s so good at looking internally and finding something external therein. what the hell are you talking about? i asked my self. nevermind, i said.
i slurped my soup so loudly. it drove me nuts. the lack of consideration. i tried to consider that some people have had habits for years and they’re not so easy to break.
when i was done with dinner i offered to do the dishes as a thank you for cooking dinner. i threw them in some hot water with soap and then i came back to the living room.
i just sat there in silence. i tried a couple times for conversation, but i already knew what i was going to say. i’d known my self for so long.
i looked across the room at the self portrait of my self and i thought to my self, i can do better than that. this is boring. i gotta get out more, but i didn’t say that out loud. some things are best kept from your self.



we wheel her into the emergency room
external internal bleeding
static on the radio, television, internet
broken bones, wounds needing sutured
militant groups moving like gangrene
up her legs, down her arms
fires in the ribs, the chest, refugees
walking across the plains of her
collar bones

cancer of the heart
cancer of the soul, of the spirit
cancer of the nightly news
the thought of bomb
cancer of the human mind
vague treatment options
in paper pamphlets

some of us wait
in the lobbies of the hospitals
for what feels like

cancer of the everything

cancer of nigeria
syria, cancer of paris
cancer of time

when you fire recklessly
into the sky
don’t be surprised
if you shoot god down

and we are all of us falling
into soft beds of hope
restless and writhing
into giant vats of fear
stirring around in ignorance
endless newsfeed
eternally moving through snapshots
of distant reality
blood looks different on camera
sirens are silent in pictures

you cannot hold something digital

you can listen
and look for the helpers

the average human hand
is one hundred and eighty one
millimeters in length
but you’d be jawdropped
to find the length
of untapped compassion
that they can carry

do not be
wind up teeth
scathing across the map
of the world wide web

water is always holy
so take each ounce of your holy water
boil it into steam
and let rise the unrest
that is cooking in your kitchen

inject it intravenously
into our common vein

take the chest paddles
in your chest
and apply pressure
send electricity
through your wires
move like blood cells
to the source of the pain

do not be the left hand
that does not know
what the right is doing

a good tactic
to ground one’s self
is to touch something

press your hands together
and pray

in whatever way
that you wish to pray



a flash of light! (a darkness.)
(a silence.) A BIG BOOM!
worlds expand and then pulled close
like a magnet in a paperclip drawer
what was (is over.)
a nuclear bomb exploding.
(then contracting.) again. (and again.)
through time. forever. (it never
was.) this is the way we are. (we are
the everything that is.) that is
what we are and we are all nothing
but one million paragraphs made of
one billion sentences made of
one trillion letters made of
an endless stream of ink
sunken in (dissolved.)
lost in the white of its own
lone canvas.



pounds of
salt water
pour through
my window

against the wooden
burrowing in like madness

golden child
on my frameless bed
light a cigarette
and breathe deep
every single sip
of my twenty seven years
of nonsense

i meditate
inhaling the apathy
exhaling the nicotine
this meditation
so american
so very concentrated
on the idea of my own self
like this poem

pushed past the door
the one
my landlord’s fist hits
on the fifteenth
of each month
i travel downstream
into the stomach
and the guts of my

i am no longer being chewed
i have been swallowed
and now
i am being digested
dissolved in the acids
of experience
i sleep blanketless
on the hardwood floors
of my brutal belly

and then
awoken to
a wind up bird
haunting the rafters
my attention deficit eyes
pierced to its movement
like a thumbtack
to a bulletin board

the most
beautiful bird
i had ever seen
in spite
of its winding
in spite
of its clear dedication
to exactly
as it was programmed
to do

i vomit
seven thousand poems
as i sleep
in my own stomach
i dream
murakami dreams
walks down hallways
following some strange black
following some suppressed urge
to not follow form

and at the ready
as if i’m holding a crossbow
sternly towards my own throat
i stand like a soldier
i breath like a buddhist
and i die
like a seed
being buried
in the ground



"This is Not a Picture Show" by Jana Van Meerveld. Oil on Linen. 2015.

“This is Not a Picture Show” by Jana Van Meerveld. Oil on Linen. 2015.

this is not a picture show

there are no opening credits
no haunting score of music
no rising dramatic plot

this rises and falls as it will
timelines blur
ideas are lost and sometimes

there is no scene of repentance

there is not always
a bombastic kiss
in lunar midnight
on new year’s eve
this is something
more romantic
than that

this is not a picture show

this is sparks
meandering currents
inside your lockbox skull
to present you
this chaotic rock opera

you strapped to a chair
not in the audience
but on stage
you strapped to a chair

feeling your finger nails
scratching its wooden arms
and your bloody wings burst forth
splayed across the rostrum

rows of empty seats
in the house

the sun is the closest thing
to spotlight

there is no audience
only the audience of memory
a pamphlet
dirtied by footsteps
folded in half
and tucked into the back pocket
of your hard drive

there is a fade to black
but there are no end credits
this does not always end
with a wedding
or a funeral
this does not always end

this rises and falls as it will

timelines blur

ideas are lost and sometimes
they are found again

this is not a picture show
it’s something much braver than that


This piece was inspired by the oil painting “This is Not a Picture Show” by Jana Van Meerveld, whose work I’ve recently discovered I have an affinity for. You can see more of her work on her website here.


To William Wordsworth

sick denver sleeps and dreams of sleeping more,
the long cathedral halls all trashed and bruised:
the afterglow of an angelic whore;
do not mistake this truth for unenthused;
in the flashlight glow of evening’s death
i feel my heart expand like lungs instead,
this heart of mine returning blood red breath
into the opened chambers of my head;
and so the city welcoming the sky,
and so the wind that prophesizes snow,
the vast exhale of fog that lingers high,
the statues wait to breath in down below.


Read “Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802” by William Wordsworth