Doe Words

small sounds in the hurricane whirl

Air Loom

Air Loom

Some of you say, “It is the north wind who has woven the clothes to wear.”

But shame was his loom, and the softening of the sinews was his thread.

And when his work was done he laughed in the forest.

Khalil Gibran, The Prophet

The Arsonist

My sisters rely on ponds to survive. Deep in the Midland Black the bogs cycle clear water through webs of sphagnum, a system stretching from the forest to the stone steps on the flat. The ground is level in most places, a defunct womb, a fox trap overgrown with moss. The moon hangs in the sky ringed with disease, and we are too alone.

My sisters scrape black crawfish from the net edges and cook them in pots over fire while we think about the unevenness. We think of ourselves as equals—feel our sameness through the currents in our blood—but still our eldest was around for a time the rest of us didn’t exist, when we were unreal or less, locked in the precepts of nebula. Our eldest won’t talk these days and we don’t know what she’s seen of loneliness. Our questions are clumsy, the grace of crawfish claws in their last moments of boiling.

I light all the fires under our pots. It is my natal dexterity, my blood-moon birthright. Others have the nets, the moss, priestess-knowledge, reservoirs deep as peat; I raise flames to curl with the helix of hazel branches.

If we had names we might forget ourselves. We don’t need them in the flatness, where we can see from the forest straight through to the Edge. We read the difference in our faces like the runes in the stones; the meaning we’ve forgotten because our eldest doesn’t speak. We get glimmers of understanding, deep truths from our ionized psyche, the unconscious we formed from, plasmatic astronomy traced into our bones. The things we know are smoke-thick, then gone; we are acclimated to enough.

What we know about our lineage are irises covering the range of feldspar, dark hair from the depths of the mires. It would be imbalanced to have a favorite sister, but these days I spend most of my time with the bone-carver. Of all my sisters she maybe looks the most like me: hooded eyes, rune-slice cheeks.  The bone carver makes our tools from the fallow deer midden after a fresh kill; she is particularly adept at knives. The bone-carver is the one who kills most of the fallows we rely on in the Midland Black these days, for hoods, for oils, for meat, for bones. There are many things we can say to each other without speaking, only through our iridium looks, language audible to fallows and storms.

Read the rest of this entry »

Not yet endless


1. Zen

2. Anger flares of acne

3. Moisture (like an orchid)

4. Dreams about hair dye and poison

5. Fixed impermanence

6. Swimming pools

7. Actively un-naming things

8. Helixed seeds

9. Lavender surface cleaner

10. If any of this means anything I’m not ready to hear it


It’s like this when I begin to exist outside of time: in nominal hours, or just the hyper-steadied reality of inconsequence.  How always blue ink makes me dizzy like the crystalline stitch of air, how washing dirt off my feet separates me from the rottweilers, from our skulls, from our bites and our dreams of circles.  Omens prick the atmosphere—you wanted this—a raven on the roof pitch, the glare of dandelion seeds, teenage doves learning about wingspans and snap-jaws, broken pool filters.  Rereading the same book about psychics too often and now I’m guarded, sleep behind concrete walls, wondering if there can exist a life incapable of birth or stains or are we all just products of an interminable weather.

Reading Tanya Luhrmann


IMG_8140nealwisdom 1459715_10200732165825058_942404468_n

1. poem of words I’ve crossed out recently

2. words by a best friend that are looping my skull in [daisy] chains

3. where I’ll be this fall


I’m beginning to remember the nights at Eschaton
where my hands bled that first time
and the happiness of champagne embers
spread through the wires, made me dizzy
in low corners, called me dirty bomb words
slick with ribbons like an octopus

who whispered
a thousand emptied circles until
blood pillowed in my cheeks
and the stoplights blistered in shallow rain

where I learned I never knew myself
not in the middle of things
barely beyond the edges where lines fade out
become other objects, reaching lithe
in the soaked air of canyons

These Days

 I wrote this a year ago about a couple boys who broke my heart and don’t know me anymore.

I like the boys at night who let me
read sad poetry and describe my
days to them. Who put my whiskey
always on their tab. Who have twenty-nine
ways of taking a joke too far, heaven-crying
for punch lines to that jerk’s jaw behind the bar,
I love the mad ones that splatter paint all over
the sidewalks and then say sorry. When I snag
a sweater by accident and he’ll run the whole line
to Santa Barbara, to the cliff face, to the knees
with the holes in the jeans. The ones who grow
their hair long on webcam while I’m in Sweden
and then don’t call when I return. They drop
my name in anecdotes at parties and their friends
tell them I’m pretty the way a baseball bat is
the most beautiful thing that cracked, and I write
them travel texts while I’m in my bedroom,
feet socked up and tissue-ripped, praying for more
time to not lie about mileage anymore. The ones
that my brothers waiting in North Hollywood hate;
my 1 a.m. arrival for lectures and drunk Legos but
I’m not there. I’m standing on skinned feet swaying
with the Santa Ana, the sky cracked in concert split
seconds before I’m robbed blind, clock-faced, crash
and cover in the nearest palm tree. Let’s wait here,
my California loves, for the sun.

Sacramental Spring



Spring 2013

Maybe it’s faith and maybe it’s memory

Soaking in a few new projects right now; might post some old poems in the near future.   A few things that are blowing my mind right now:

The discovery of new (old) Sappho

Mira Gonzalez

This Mondrian-prairie-sun-house-thing by Autumn de Wilde

The Spoils of Babylon


Every Woman and everything by Natalia Leite and Alexandra Roxo

The return of the wallet chain (and not a second too soon)

Poem for Neal

My best friend’s brother has too many selves
and I worry sometimes about light fixtures
with too many spokes
or my cheekbones in the after-slice
of flash photography
though I wonder most nights
if these are the right things to be doing

sometimes we drive under trees to
think about home
but mostly trust clouds to
fade the way through

There was one night where rain sounded
like gold and I wished I was dead

and now I keep my window blinds shut
and try to avoid guys who like folk rock
and it’s not working out so well

White Bear Lake

The Jeffersons’ cat turned up unexpectedly in their rosebushes Sunday morning after mass.  It was strewn across the brambles, thorns and all, little blood pockets from puncture wounds already dried to the color of sangria.  Dead things don’t look sad, Sissy Leigh says; they just look blank.

“I’m going to slit the throat of the bastard who did this,” Randolph Jefferson said, wringing his knuckles raw.

That entire morning the Jeffersons lingered on their front porch, engaging those who walked by in the gruesome play-by-play in their imaginations and vigilante promises of revenge.  They strung up the carcass of Cat Jefferson along a clothesline, grieving publicly and loudly, while Carmine Jefferson brewed almond-milk lattes for passersby intrigued by the drama.

“You know it was the Atcher’s Rott,” Randolph Jefferson ranted.  “It’s always those damn Rottweilers.”

“You know more about fish than most people I know,” I say to Sissy Leigh.

“They’re silly,” she laughs, dipping her fingers in the water.  Sissy Leigh’s laugh sounds like stick bugs playing the triangle.  “They look sad even though they’re underwater.”

Sissy Leigh takes care of the fish this summer.  There are seven of them in fish tank: four comets, two pearlscales and an oranda.  The comets are named Bug 1—4 and can be any of the numbers because Sissy can’t keep them straight.  One of the pearlscales is Goop and the other, prettier one is Sadie.  The oranda is special and Sissy can’t decide on a name for it yet.

Sissy Leigh shakes the food flakes into the tank and cleans the filter and I make her lunch and water the plants while her parents are working.  Plants are so boring they might as well be dead, Sissy says.  I’m old, so she lets me do the boring stuff.  I turn on the TV and Sissy picks which cartoons we watch.  Sissy picks which books we read and I turn the pages and pronounce the words.  Her favorites these days are about houses with monsters in them; they’re funny and not scary, and Sissy laughs.  I like them too.  I make Sissy grilled cheese sandwiches and she eats everything but the crust, saving the extra bread crumbles for Bugs 1 through 4, Goop and Sadie and the oranda.

“We’re sisters this summer, right?” she asked me my first day I’m there.  Most little girls cry when their parents abandon them for the first time, even just for a handful of hours, but Sissy’s giddy.  She’s already dressed like a mermaid, shuffling across the floors on flipper feet; Mrs. Garrett calls Sissy Leigh her “little dust buster” because she hardly has to mop the floors anymore now that Sissy’s a mermaid.  Mrs. Garrett had a hard time leaving that first day, but mermaid-Sissy latched onto me like barnacles and started quizzing me about my favorite things, checking they matched up with hers.  Sissy Leigh is my favorite thing this summer, so they all do.

“We sure are, little lady.”

“Sissy Winnie!”

“Sissy Leigh.” Read the rest of this entry »


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