Dangling Mobile of Ordinary

Mercy of a lazy afternoon.

Babies asleep, sign on door says
it’s just not smart to ask for

Or start it.

The car battery’s given up for this
particular meantime. You can hold
your breath, but the bluebonnets
won’t. They did their time, daring
not to quiver as the babies smiled
on command.

Most people still have their senior

Nowadays, it’s a breakfast tray,
hosting more napkins than cups of
black coffee since the city declared
it wants to cut down. How many
cups could fit on the glossy block,
flat the way some people like their
leisurely soda?

I couldn’t tell you,
so I guess we’ll never know
while most of the questions
I’ve left by your door
run back to me, wet streets
stained, smelling of Big Red
that only I can taste.

You will discover more things that
always spun over your bed.


when we were somewhat young

aliens come to teach us tricks
less silly than simply playing fetch,
watching the sun hide into wordlessness
like young sangria tossed onto worn carpets.

you and your pencil, glue stick
trying its best to hold together the steps
one follows, solving the most tiresome
riddles, equations, whiteboard confetti.

fly through tonight, keep your head down
and don’t vomit yet because there’s much more
that we haven’t seen and the people around the corner
have an entire book filled, oddities and monsters smirking.

we once wrote stories and scared off those
who timed themselves in the late afternoon
and made sure to climb the stairs at five
while we knew we’d be searched for, astray.

ants form a line, encircling the smoothest rocks
we walked right over, arched nonchalance glowing
in the heat, the unknown and feared biting our ankles
that worked, pushed, and fought against suburban rest.

Cat No. 92 of the 500 Cats Project

remembering irrelevancies

“no anonymity for trial, error, and…”

Diane Sawyer, there was never anonymity. There isn’t any, even in the subtle tolerance high school and college provide. Leave Britney alone! Here’s the part where she cries…

I currently write on the kitchen counter, headphones overbearing like the glare of everyday drosophila. The bullet planner’s now a host for lists, phrases overheard, and brands with new commercials playing songs I don’t want to lose track of. I listen to interviews from 2003, late into the night, well after reading what’s conventionally relevant sometime around noon. I eat my cereal with bits of banana, and soon, I’ll walk out for more sweet fruit that cues the flies’ song before I open the window that invites the least light.

The hallway’s angrier than usual, someone’s girlfriend arguing about how she should’ve been the green Power Ranger, ignoring suggestions to order pizza and sit back calmly with a cold Mike’s Hard Lemonade. I pour myself more cereal, sing David Bowie’s “Five Years” three times in a row because I’m sickly fond of the thought of a beautiful person unaware he’s in a song. Like a girl with her headphones behind a brick wall as I’m sitting in a car of a friend driving by, a friend who knowingly misses my apartment complex because wasting gas surpasses several hours alone in its vocalized comforts.

The afternoon brought the best nap in perhaps the last three weeks. No headache, bruised thighs, or wrists not wanting to work. Of course, I ate cereal before falling asleep, three bananas spread like a fan across the counter. No sunlight found. I only smelled rain and reminded myself that the library still charges thirty-five cents per item, per day that it lingers on the table. I wrote a list of every book I probably took home since I was twelve years old. An Egg on Three Sticks remains a novel I want to reread.

I opened that book a long time ago. Fourteen years. 2003. Yeah, that sounds about right.


four-sided panels.

that claims your frustration
as you scratch the wrong symbol.

again, swerving into plastic bins
thanks to well-meaning migraines
while your brow line swells.

try again, grounded.

Cat No. 66 of the 500 Cats Project

keep on foraging

rummaging in the exhaust
of tires interrogated,

brought to deflate
when the alibi of “dinner party”
failed to beckon
the nods of swaying jurors.

to find the ring
already retrieved.

clanking down the garbage disposal
while Tim screamed, “Fuck,”
looking for a place to hide,
fork prongs bent between bluish teeth.

Cats No. 64 and 65 of the 500 Cats Project

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.”


…just wandering out of my box.

Monday, January 2nd, 2017

Jack in the Box has Wi-Fi, and their coffee is cheaper than Starbucks. I’ve got a fistful of coupons and I’ll admit, without shame, that Jack in the Box sells the best junky breakfast I could ask for, at any time of the day. I don’t go there often, mainly because the nearest one is across the money order kiosk I remember so well, thanks to two boys who didn’t look older than seventeen. They sat in a Chrysler, the passenger nodding over and over as he pointed to me, drenched in my ivory sweater. The attendant behind the window advised me to stand across from her until the boys left. After twenty minutes, she rolled her eyes and told me, “Girls get snatched up on this street all the time.”

I thanked her, left with my security deposit, and slowly walked beneath the overpass, remembering the safety alert from two years before about a sedan falling from the upper level near Martin Street. Someone died. I cringe each time I walk near a highway, contemplating the weight of steel and rubber against my brittle chest. A thousand, ten thousand, a million silenced pieces that wouldn’t be disputed to the degree that I’ve questioned the veracity behind Jack in the Box’s calorie counts.

Roasted Black Coffee: Five calories.
Iced Coffee, Flavored: One hundred eighty to two hundred ten calories.

Black coffee sounds too good to be true, but what do I know of its truth? Without sweetened creamer, I often opt for tea. That too was on the menu, something around one hundred calories.

Hell, I’m not scared of calories, but I know I must stray from caffeine and processed sugars. I’ve just now adjusted myself to a proper sleeping schedule. My routine would take months to rectify if I toy with it again.

No one dines in at this Jack in the Box. The tables and floors are bleached to a modest gloss. I wonder if this is one of those spots where “girls get snatched up.” I suggest to myself that this may be one of those spots to get work done, with the coupons I have and the Wi-Fi stickers slapped on every door.

The police academy’s several blocks down, but it’s not the place to call when someone crawls through the drive-through window, angry that truly, Jack ran out of his awesome bacon n’ cheese potato wedges. I often think of the worst, and again, I toss away the idea of writing at a restaurant. The last time was at a McDonald’s, where I was reprimanded by a manager for swaying to Seal’s “Kiss From a Rose.”

“You’re disturbing my customers,” the manager snapped.

It’s hard to consolidate life’s taunting list of things that disturb the conscience.