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?



he takes the manuscript. he paces. he paces around the room
with the manuscript. he doesn’t know what the manuscript is
anymore. it’s paper. it’s just a bunch of paper. what is paper?
what is that noise of feet against the floor? he sets down the
manuscript. he bites his nails. he paces. he bites his nails while
he paces. he daydreams. he is superman. he is superman in
some weird fetish dungeon. there are german women crawling
all over him. he daydreams. he digresses. he grabs his glass.
he fills his glass in the bathroom sink with water. he sips the
water. he looks in the mirror. he’s not there. he stares but
he is not there. he leaves the bathroom. forgets his water. he
paces some more. he bites his nails. he bites the tips of his
fingers. he eats the skin right of his fingers. he chews on the
bone like a dog. he takes the manuscript. blood on the manuscript.
he sits down sips whiskey sitting in his oversized chair and he
reads over the manuscript. what did i even write? he thinks.
what is it here that i even did? did i write this? i can’t remember
a word that i wrote. who am i? who were my parents? why am
i looking through this paper? ooh ooh that’s pretty good, he
thinks, as he looks at a line here and there. pretty good

pretty good he continues. this is not too bad. i think this
is pretty good. he rearranges the poems. he rearranges the
order of the poems. he thinks to himself what is the proper order
of the poems? in what way can i arrange the clear glass
slides of my heart to best show up on the projector? how do i trick
them into loving me? how do they do it? how did they trick them? how did
they get them to fall for them? how did they get them to fall in love?
what flowers did they buy for society? where did they take her?
how far did they drive just to be with her? what did they do? what
is it that they did? his bone dry finger drips red blood on the
manuscript and again he’s pacing. he’s pacing across the living room
barefeet sliding against the grime of the wood floors. what barking
in my skull? what incessant noise? what remainder of the division
that i was able to equate to paper. what to throw out. what to keep?
what to tuck away for after i die? did the others do it? did they tuck

away for after they die? are we just robbing the cat from the
sarcophagus? why this pacing? he takes the manuscript. he sets the
manuscript on the window sill. a slight breeze picks up. the pages
dance. he cringes. runs for the window. saves his darlings. feels the
white ash on the tips of his fingers. he falls to his knees. a bird in
the window. he says back bird! away bird! this is not your manuscript
bird! this is my manuscript bird! you can’t have it! it’s mine! i wrote
it! plagiarist! fraud! wolf in sheep’s clothing! the bird just wants to
read it. can’t i just read it? says the bird. no! back devil! back you
devil bird! the bird shits. resumes to the sky. flies the fuck off. the
man looks at the manuscript. looks at the fire. looks at the manuscript
looks at the fire. manuscript. fire. manuscript fire. he paces. he eats
the pages. he takes page one and crinkles it into his mouth. he takes
page two. eats it. page three page four. every single page now gone.
tumbling inside of his sickly stomach. he looks to the fire. he thinks
i am the fire. now i am the fire. what have i done? he vomits up the
manuscript but just scattered letters come out. o’s and k’s and x’s.
he assembles them like a puzzle. the shadow of the sun moves
across his wood floors. he finishes the puzzle. he packs the manuscript
into a manila envelope and he stumbles out the doorway down the
stairwell to the mailbox he puts the manuscript in the mailbox he closes
the door. he sits down. he sips the whiskey. he walks into the fire.
he starts to burn. a little more each minute as the flames lick his fingers.
he paces. he paces around the fire. his ankles turned to ash. his shins
turned to ash. his knees ash his hips ash his shoulders ash. dear editor,
attached is a copy of my manuscript for your consideration. thank
you for your time. sincerely me. p.s. i am a big fan of everything that
you guys do and to be a part of it would just mean the world to me.



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.



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


see the homeless posted at every major crossroad
standing at the ready like soldiers but really they’re just vets.
see their cardboard signs in shivering hand standing in the neon light of another sign.
see the signs. so many signs. all the signs trying so hard to sing you to shipwreck.
see the american assembly line of incarceration. the rows of concrete buildings.
stacked side-by-side. industrial and sturdy on the outside but cancer within.
see the conjugal visit of capitalism and democracy.
see the mcwhopper junior baconator cheeseburger combo.
see the mccigarettes in their red little cradle.
see the forty-eight ounces. ice cold. ninety-nine cents.
delivered from the window in a brown paper bag in exchange for your cash.
see the legal drug deal in the lobby of the restaurant.
see the illegal drug deal in the parking lot.
see the rows and rows of second mortgage cars
transnational representations of delusional personalities.
see the signs. great american tarot cards. see what they say about you.
see what you need. see why you’re unhappy. see until it hurts to see.
see all of the things that you never knew that you wanted so badly.
see the black market big box store. see that sugar is cheaper than dirt.
see the impossible cost of a roof. see the white picket fence. see the shutters.
see the green grass front yard. see the sprinkler system.
see the community-approved paint and primer color glowing from the house.
see the blue front door. the great gold knocker. see the red wheelbarrow.
see the inside of the house. it’s empty.
see the beautiful communities with world-class schools, parks, autumns.
see the people who live in their graveyards. see the garbage mountains.
see the garbage hail storms. the garbage rain clouds raining down garbage.
see the hurricane waters rise an inch each day. sinking the titanic.
sinking first the third class. sinking second the second class.
see the first class polish the brass.
see the giant ball of yarn. see the giant rocking chair in the field.
see the giant orange bottle of horse pills. see the bill.
see the cost of the medication. but hey. it’s cheaper than therapy.
see the beautiful people. the manufactured celebrity. the scripted reality.
see the radiating crimson head of the news vociferously squawking.
see the bright light show. the warm blanket of electronica.
the giant chloroform rag. the sweet victory of football.
see peyton manning sell you insurance. see the rage of fandom.
see the super bowl if you get a chance. for the commercials.
see the black plague of poor management wash over us all.
see the rose that grows from the concrete. see the incredible way
that somewhere lost in a fossil fuel fog, an outdated identity,
a father figure who refuses to listen to his beautiful daughters.
somewhere in the hallways of the church inside the bank,
there is still a green light that glows.

there is still a radiant child born in the bomb shelter of brooklyn
who will die hanging his crown on the nail of the wild wall.



days like today i can just
see it

the sky cracks open
ominous and glowing
and we realize

that we all have just
been living
on the inside of an
enormous blue egg

the whites of the
blue oceans run loose
into a frying pan mixed
with the inner core yolk
and we are cooked
with butter
and spinach
ooh and mushrooms
maybe some feta cheese


we might be an omelette

i have some phone calls
to make