incantation in flashcards dropped
on a dirt floor, the words familiar.

candy wrappers on an afternoon flight,
glitter and dust grabbed for the walls.

milk bottles atop the humming fridge
and a bracelet beneath the chair repainted.

windows cracked as the water cycle
hangs questioned, again, by our play.

Scraped Knees, a mixture of poems and flash stories, is now available on Amazon.

Feel Good

confusion lighter
than ice cubes in an empty glass.

she turns to the clerk
who requests her card
as these friends, too understanding
of what she’s forbidden to drink
walk forward with Baby New Year.

sky blue Feel Good.

in the square, her lips are full
but resolutely pursed
to form a shy oval
where the best spirit lands
and spills off to sharper corners.

the ignored melatonin
remains in a quiet bathroom.

Scraped Knees, my first collection of poems and short stories, is now available on Amazon.

Release (Scraped Knees)

the leery tabby cat
inched closer,

pushing towards
this little girl
and issuing a

she woke up,
spotting branches
in the corner
and she tried
to defy sensibility,
clinging to a limb
and surrendering her stance.

the street smells
of banana peels
and our sky,
stippled by thoughts
buried expertly
in the creases
of love seats,

the leather’s
integrity questioned.

I am happy to announce that Scraped Knees, my first collection of poetry and flash stories, is now available on Amazon. Give it a read, climb a tree, make your way down, and climb it again. Thank you.

Scraped Knees

Thursday, January 26th, 2017

“I felt she was bringing me closer to God.”

I think I heard Ryan Burns correctly, though years after, I still watch footage of the Arias trial, hoping to understand more about the murkiest depths of human dysfunction. I know none of these people, so placing any conclusions on the table leaves me stumbling for solid words. So I write, my tasks scrawled on neon Post-it notes, and I look to the door at the slightest “Where’ve you been?” that I hope won’t explode like old baked potatoes in a silently twirling microwave. On the couch, Mr. Burns didn’t seem to expect she’d explode.

People baffle and frustrate me in ways my meowing roommates don’t. I’m beginning to scare myself a little, taking a pumice stone to the bark on my feet, watching each callus flake and fall. I forget. I need these. So I hobble around, bending down to check that my toes are still straight, that the balls of my feet will thicken in weeks. The sunlight smirking through the blinds reminds me I’ve got work to do. Some jobs are pure dictation. Others are requests to “do what you do.” Improvise, begin, complete, and nod. But don’t squeak back in frustration, and don’t use your scrambled brain as the best you could find in your medicine cabinet after running out of Excedrin.

Trees outside are scantily clad, but the few leaves flatter like an office-worthy blouse. The sky might as well be white, birds on the wire returning, only to fly towards smudged windows, turning right at the very last minute. I’ve got several cardboard boxes. Perhaps I should cut the flaps, run like I’m dreaming all the way down my favorite hallway.

This week, I’ve been happy. Sometimes confused, but happy as I rub some lotion on my knees, for once not scraped.

Ah, those scraped knees. We find them in thousands of pages. Finally, after much of last year, I’ve got my own set of pages. Tomorrow, on Amazon, Scraped Knees (Ugly Sapling Press) will walk onto the scene of atypical experience, sensory dissection, and interpersonal miscommunication. Let’s give it a warm welcome. A slather of aloe vera and bandages that soothe.

Again, thank you all.

the citrus patrol

the sign reads Sam Houston,
though it fails to disclose
the clementine identity
of the man who
raises his sunburnt head,
ears that twitch
to remind young drivers
that right is safe,
left is a risk,
and to pull the keys out
while placing a foot
on the beer bottle mosaic
set on the ground.

know that he can jump
like high school hurdlers,
and he’ll treat your sun roof
like an aquarium that houses
the world’s shiniest fish.

Cat No. 67 of the 500 Cats Project

To My Little Cloud

pink, gray, green

loud and ever dissenting
though I could never
trade you,

and the cries, the coos,
halogen bulbs
that I know
are staring eyes.

damn little voyeur.

how you insist
on everything heard,

how you think thoughts
sunflower oil.

never hide away

and always,
howl your truths.

rosemary tangerine tea

Saturday, January 7th, 2017

I’m losing my way, or at least I feel so as I trip over my own sore feet upon making contact with a man riding his bike. His baseball cap reads “CIA” and I find my mouth drying up for no logical reason. Tell me about something that is logical. Show me cubes of equal dimensions, the kind that makes iced coffee so aesthetically pleasing on some Italian stranger’s Instagram.

The scarlet crawls across my face, but I advise you to look at my fingers if you aim to make a connection between changes in color and dropping temperatures. My heater does the best it can, and I complain when I shouldn’t, but understand that coldness has always been foreign to me, and I don’t quite know what a heatwave is.

I wake up earlier and write more, about things that belong on a word processor and not on a sheet of pretty paper. That’s not to say I do not enjoy writing about visas, deportation, that Oakland warehouse fire, and Donald Trump. But getting paid for poetry sounds fun, and here I am again, losing my way, stating the obvious, while thinking of how to describe St. Augustine grass in a way that commands several people to care.

Thirty minutes out of the day are spent on pilates. I used to run, but now I cannot. The corkscrew remains my favorite move. The gray cat sits still, wrapped in my cardigan, while Tabby peeks out of the futon’s shadows. I finish the routine, open the cupboard, and grab the tin of tangerine rosemary tea. Still, I cannot shut up about how good it tastes, blended with milk and honey. It doesn’t hurt yet, to drink so much sugar. I don’t think I’ve had my first cavity.

I set aside books that take up space, but I remember too well that there stands a dumpster behind a nearby bookstore. It’s filled with books, and according to someone who claimed to organize the shelves, these are books that kids were actually paid for. Somehow, this saddens me.

I’m saddened by the leaves torn across the ground. Articles about men (boys?) piss me off, and I’m still congested, on my fourth cup of tangerine rosemary tea. Perhaps I need a nap. Need. That’s a loaded word. The gray cat wriggles out of the cardigan I love to wrap him in while two people near my doormat argue about whom that was so callously “played.”