1. Ars Poetica

Poems should be soft or hard

A cacophony of gurgling words pulled like a ribbon from your throat

Poems should be yellow or grey  

An oil painting of every color smudged, layered, stacked

A confrontation with an image that is neither or both

An empty space that’s filled with something

Everything or nothing

Poems should be familiar or unknown

A place we’ve never been to but that we’ve always lived

2. What I Don’t Know

What I don’t know

She said to me

Is everything and nothing

how different colors make me

Feel different things

how you look like yellow and orange

but sometimes make me see red

What I don’t know

She cried to me

is how you can be so warm and so cold

how even though you’re next to me

I can’t seem to touch you   

What I don’t know

She whispered to me

Is why

3. Poem 2

A city significantly larger than my home

Sun hitting my face, something smelled different

Like hot piss and sweaty people

But also kind of sweet

Like warm croissants

Everything was so orange and so busy

The train felt like a sped-up version of reality

Their accents were husky; everyone sounded like they smoked cigarettes

It was beautiful, like a song you never want to stop playing

She sounded like a movie star

Her lisp, barely even noticeable, made it sound like she was telling you a secret

Even though I didn’t know what she was saying

I wanted to know more

Hear more

4. I Poem

You asked if you could have it so,

even though I didn’t really want to

part with it, I gave it to you

I wanted you to have it

So I handed it to you, showing

You how delicate you must be

I thought you would cherish it

Show it off to our friends

Maybe hang it above the fire place

I wanted you to have it

You said you needed it

But when I handed it to you

You dropped it on the floor

I watched it shatter like

The wine glass you threw the other night

A million pieces of glistening broken glass

Dripping with warm red blood

I watched you step over the pieces

The soles of your angry black shoe

Crunching it beneath you

5. List Poem

I find a copper penny

I pat a furry pup

I slosh through icy brown slush

I toss a couple rocks.

 

I drum my fingers along

the green wire fence

I chase a soft-grey squirrel

All the way up the road.

 

But when I hear the bell ring

I jump into a sprint

I bounce, bounce off the ground

For fear of being late

 

6. Brag Poem 

I threw up on my bedroom floor,

A mirage of different colors;

Blue, yellow, red, exploding

Over the brown wood

 

The different textures

Wool, cotton, silk

All stitched together

Thrown over each other in chaos

 

I am exceptionally good

At making this masterpiece

Almost alarmingly so,

My clothes never remain

Neatly stacked or hung

 

It may be my biggest

Brag. My brilliant ability

To ruin even the neatest of

Bedrooms.

7. Food Poem 

She peels the apples quickly

Layers of skin, falling, curling

On the floor below

Shiny, bright and flushed

 

The knife slices through the flesh

Warmed by her soft hands

Perfect pieces

 

She grows sticky with the

Sweet juice leaking, squirting

Onto her soft hands with each

Sliver of fruit

 

Warm butter, softened

Mashed into the oats and sugar

She caresses the mixture

Between gentle fingers

 

The grains of sugar cling to

Her pores, fill the crevices

In her floury palm

 

She crumbles the sugar, butter and oats

Over the apples, which lay sticky and wet

Waiting to be filled

To be tasted and savored

 

8. “I” Poem 2

I would call them dancers

The way their bodies’ move

Effortlessly, easily

 

With astounding quickness

Like fish through water

It’s become part of them

the movement is natural, organic

 

A blur of black, yellow and red

If you take your eyes away for

Even a moment the colors will sweep together

A brush stroke of vibrancy on a white canvas

 

But these dancers are not peaceful

The satisfying fluidity of their routine is

Interrupted, halted, violated

 

My heart beats faster, thumping hard

flesh colored fists, tight and strong

Gloves thrown, strewn across

 

This is the best part

Of the entire routine, the

Moment before the dancers’ return

 

9. Ephiphany poem 

 

The road was dusty brown, parched. Drops

of sweat that slipped down off my eyebrows

were lost in the sand. My carefully braided hair was

now dampened and salty, frizzing around my face.

 

I knocked on the fence. I think it was a door. Broken

pieces of plywood, the same dusty brown as the road were

crisscrossed together, a chiasmus of cheap nails and new

wood and cheap wood and old nails.

 

The man behind it yelled, gruffly: “Pase.” So we

walked in. Hesitantly, slowly. Hot piss and warm sweat

mixed with humid dog shit penetrated my nostrils. I

had to force myself to breath. In and out and out and in.

 

There was barely a house here though. The man laid in

a hammock made from stained fabric, tied precariously to

a small tree and that crisscrossed fence that was also a door.

His teeth were bright white against his faded, leather skin and

he smiled at us.

 

I waited for him to get up but all he could do was wiggle his torso

upwards. I wanted to look at him, at his entire body but I could

see what wasn’t there. The empty part of the hammock where his

legs should be, but aren’t.

 

Diabetes. He said, nodding to his missing limbs. A woman

walks out from the slanted pieces of metal that covered

only a stove and a place on the ground for a blanket. This was

her home. Her house. Her piss covered dirt yard where her husband

lay, hanging, in the hammock. His body deteriorating faster

than his mind.

 

10. PICTURE POEM

We’d take turns blowing

Smoke up into the air above

Us. Watching as it morphed into tentacles,

Fingers reaching into the sky

 

Sometimes we’d get so high we’d forget

Where we were.

And just lay there looking up at the blue nothingness

tasting his smoky breath, his dry tongue 

 

The trains never moved, never

Left their designated spot on the tracks

So we knew every door that was left open

Inviting us to come

Sitting, basking, in the loudness 

 

I thought it looked like Picasso

Red, orange and yellow blocks

Interrupted by blue and purple

Kind of looked like a raincoat from the 80’s

 

We’d sit there our legs swinging

Off the side. Rolling papers resting

Between our fingers, lighters flicking

On and off