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i read






thumbed chess


dear painter

I sit behind the clock,

eavesdropping talks,

once we learn words,

our thoughts never stop.

They tumult out,

an unceasing spout

about all the pouts

of prancing, pacing, prying out

our lives.


Past the carved hours

lay rivers, restive forests,

clouds incapable of

imperfect shapes—

they govern their own days.


If I stripped the watch

to watch the watch

watch itself alone,

would it watch its time

as I watch my life,

now a watcher who

forsaked the watch to watch?


I hold the child in me,

follow a premonition

of who I’ll be—

she tells me she watches how

happy I be!


The past’s thoughts on

the present, the future’s

nostalgia for now—


just be here,

right here,

somehow. Watch it

unfold, partake until

it’s gone cold.









He had in his hands

all these letters,


the man solemnly peeled

away his lenses,


stroked his moustache-

he wept.


A cascade of tears

on dried ink of ivory

paper, addressed from

his son, long lost in

the weather.









The girls were playing

cards, laughing over straights-

they merried over tokens,

coins, and three of a kind eights.

But the men went and saw,

how they had more fun

than they ever knew,

grew with fury-




They beat them.


Took their hands and forced

the full houses upon

the now fearful girls,

stole their fun,

stole their glee,

seized their dignity,

imposed a single memory

fraught with scary things.

And this one moment in time,

the girls would always carry.









Ants continue to festoon

on my cheek yet I

sleep and sleep,

ignore the scratching

of shells on my skin and

splitting eggs on my head.

Ma mere,

Ma mere,

Ma mere,

you weren’t there,

you weren’t there,

you weren’t there

when I needed you most,

when my identity


shattered along

the coral’s symbiotic coast.









I read with my ears,

hearing the string vibrate fears

of being unheard.


I read with my fingers,

feeling the paint and smoke linger

for unspoken words.


I read with my tongue,

tasting the bitterness of singed lungs

unbreathing birds.


I read with my nose,

smelling a rotting rose

unflowered and absurd.


I read with my eyes,

scanning the scenes for lies

untelling of life’s scripture.










I said it was piano!

He said it was ship!

Clearly it had pedals,

but he pointed to propellers,

so I yelled,

he shouted.

I banged on the keys,

he cast out the sails.

I pulled on the strings,

soft hammers, and things.

He climbed the mast,

trapezed across beams

and at long last

we both agreed—


We see the world so differently.








I found a moon jar!

I filled it with fillings,

silver and gold twinkling

as stars next to dear Luna.

My moon jar wards

off my demons,

my moon jar draws

in my dreams.

My moon jar wars

with being too far

from Mars and old

Mary of three.

I covet my divinity.

It’s become my secret,

you see,

my moon jar of softer things

than reality.

I hope it never leaves me,

flies away to be free.

Would I let it go if

it sought liberty?


Me thinks, no.










Well, I meant to summon

a snake to shake

up the believers of

Horus and hate,

but serpents expelled out

and slithered down

their mouths—

choking, gasping, shrieking, rasping

for air,

words long lost on

the throats’ raped



Well, I meant to shift

the water to red, stir

up the pharaoh who

calls up the dead,

but the rivers altered

to blood of the butchered,

screaming, sobbing, crying, lobbing

up prayers to anyone

with an ear,

unheard through bust drums.


Well, I meant to convert

the first-borns to

split up the stubborn,

but the angels of death flew

in from the nest

and pecked out their

hearts, no beat to test.

No pulsing, no spasms, no moving, no fathoms

of how destroyed

a people be

when their children are taken

by godly decree.


For this I am sorry.

Creators destroy

as much as creativity.










A gauntlet of

elaborate Taj Mahal mandate

made of bone

chiseled like stone,

the calcium aged and sown

like scrolls of old,


They were once





now displayed

in contorted fits

of frozen death wishes.


You couldn’t let them die,

could you?


Had to keep them in cabinets,

windows and glass,

no decay,

no going back to the past

soils and long last:



You stole it,

you misfit,

you human!


You dripped the

formaldehyde in,

skinned the frogs,

iguanas, nymphs.

Pinned the butterflies

and beetles,

stuffed the platypus

and meedled into

the weasels for

their fur,

you disgusting cur,

stiffened the toucan and

perched him on a portrait

of a town filled with a crowd,

a madhouse of plowed people,

their hearts harvested

for pounds and crowns—


Don’t you care?


The hare shot between

the ears no longer hears

the fox drawing near,


be clear,


what is your intent

with the chained elephant

shackled for prayer,

blessings, promises

against haters,

hating the animal—


negligent to its needs,

it pleads,

humans pay it no heed.


Are you listening?

Are you awake?

Your eyes glistening

from the mistakes you made.


Horrible human

held by hindsight

despite its ability

to think and predict—

they’re wicked,

they wrong,

they nicked it—

Nature’s song.



went the macaw.










You bit me!

I’m sorry I have teeth.

You morphed me into leaves!

I’m sorry I change things.

You made gravity – made me—

fall unwillingly!

I’m sorry I uphold my physics’ decree.

You let them hurt me!

I’m sorry I don’t know everything.

You gave me wings!

I’m sorry I helped you see new things.

You let me be free!

I’m sorry you’re in control

of your own destiny.

You made me something!

I’m not sorry you be.

Thank you.

No need.











Opposable thumbed

opponents opposite

of each other cast

in silver and gold,


Who shall thumb the

first move?

Fingerprint pawns

or nobbled bishops?

Fingernailed knights

or a queened thumb hairless?

They finger each other,

thumbs go up,

thumbs go down,

they scratch each other,

thumbs go round

and round opting

for strategy on tiled ground,

the skin who does not

care who wins.

They claw each other,

 strumming for the king,

a broken finger worth nothing,

yet somehow, he means

everything. No matter

how they shank, slay, or

maim, all the thumbs

return to their thimbles—

some seized, some broken,

some triumphant, some tokens

of a handshake.










The Romans,

the decadence,

seeped in venom

and then labor was

lost, good thought

gone, strategy went

unsought. The men

are whores with the

whores. Sheets spooled

along the floor, festivals

of sex once sacred gone

afoul with fucking for only

a fuck’s sake.

A boy hangs on

Caesar’s marble arm,

a mock and cajole

for the toll of this

jubilee is cheap

pleasure gone by dawn,

don’t you see?

While Rome burns,

the gladius is mad

that it is sucking on nipples,

grapes, grain gone

golden, the generals dip

their tips in surprises gone

amiss, Marcus Aurelius

hisses locked in granite.

Laurels trampled for a

threesome, criminals lauded,

animals slaughtered for

superfluous feasts, treated

with treats without earning

a feat. The statue’s scream,

they beseech them to see,

every empire falls if it’s

taken too lightly.









Why must I have

flowers down there?

Why must my hair

waterfall down in gold?

Why must the Cyclops

eye of God watch my halo?

Why must I sit upon


Why must I be naked,

aglow and exposed?

Dear painter, why

paint me at all?

Let me be, not

trapped in your painting.



*Excerpt Finished

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