Monday, June 9, 2014

I just wanted to be your friend and now look what you made me do

I'm a bookworm
And I'm better than you 
I know Holden Caulfield and Sartre, too 
I love Oxford commas and I've read Camus 
(Yo, tell 'em Jean-Paul: hell is you) 

That, by the way, was a lit allusion 
You know, with an a, not like your illusion 
The delusion where you think that you talk real good 
The delusion that you think that you run yo' hood. 

Ah... Silly little white girl wants to write a rap song 
Lip gloss and bobby socks, don't she know where she from? 
Knows a song by Emimen, thinks that she could hang with him 
Turns out rap's an easy game, turns out that she's better than 

You, and you, and yes, you, too 
Misappropriating culture with the worst of you 
Too rich for politics, punk rock--she can't handle it 
Pays her own way, ain't know way you think this bitch legit. 

Look at them teeth, did her mama put braces on 'em? 
Listen how she talk at you, homegirl musta went to college! 
Ooh she think she flossy fresh, ooh she think she fresh to death 
Get this rich bitch off the stage, somebody make her act her age 

 (...This is the part where the rap breaks down) 

This is the Brass Rail, where we drink until we fuck each other 
Pretending that we give a damn, pretending that we have another 
option, or choices in life, 
That we aren't all small sad people with our throats to the knife 

That we aren't all angry, or desperate with fear 
Searching for truth in the dregs of our beer 
Just one piece of wisdom, one message of hope? 
But there isn't, Bukowski, not even one pithy trope. 

So fuck you to the posers who say that I don't belong 
Because my words are too big and my vision too long 
And if you don't like me because I like to wear skirts 
With flowers and buttons and polka dot shirts 

I'd like to say in this last little rhyme, 
Just one more thing in these final lines: 
I'm a bitch just like you, I'm angry and raging 
I'm young and I'm dumb and think grunge is amazing 

So pick something better, don't hate 'cause I'm pretty 
Or saddled with options my tax bracket gave me. 
Hate because I'm a mirror you can see yourself in 
Hate because I'm a reminder that your life's a dead end.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Jug Wine

I tried to write a love poem,
tried to tell you I am certain in
our happily-ever-after-till-tomorrow

(tripping over baby-I-love-yous and
but these words catch behind the

scream I cannot bring myself to bear,
the fruit of a maybe life with you hung up on
the certain harvest of my quiet life alone.

for where you are settled,
you are certain,
and you want me now and for forever

I am skulking in the railyard
waiting for the next train out of town
carrying a bag loaded with the words I know not how to say,

loaded with regret,
weighted down by fear,
because running feels better than letting down walls

because running is familiar,
because I love yous so often end
with I told you sos and

one day you may wake up next to me and
turn your face the other way when
you see me naked and only as I am.

And all I am certain of today is
my fear that you will find me out,
my anxiety over failing to be good enough,

the list of failures I could read to you
(past present and most certainly future)
longer than the train that will carry me away,

the terror building in the back of my throat
louder than the whistle of the midnight express
I have always known I could depend on

your welcome though unsettling attention something I could
carry buried with my doubts until they rotted in the dark together,
and I drunk forever on this sick forgotten fruit.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Marc Smith called me "the goddess of all goddesses" (swoon!). Here's why.

During my visit to the book expo in Chicago to pick up my copy of The Journal of Modern Poetry, I competed in the Green Mill Poetry Slam, the longest running live performance in the city. I didn't like what I'd brought to read so I wrote this poem while listening to the performers during the Open Mic and read it, instead. The poem is a picture of the evening and made real by the words I heard onstage: I took the lines "Hell is always personal" and "I love everything about you that hurts" from other poets, Marc Smith spoke of gambling in his performance, and Black Lavender is a regular at the Green Mill who read that evening. And someone who has never read in public? They're called virgin virgins.

Chicago where Capone once sat,
where history is beginning all around us,
and Marc Smith rolls the dice onstage.

Then a man walks by with his hair like yours
and his coat like yours
and I can't hear him rolling anymore.

Indeed, I see you everywhere.

And oh I need a way to lose
the words that brought me here:

Black Lavender,
prescription strength,
and doctor says
crush it with your teeth,
hold it under your tongue until it dissolves because

Hell is always personal.

I ran more than once to get away from you
and woke up drowning in a gutter
or huddled in a corner where
maybe you would notice me.

You broke me but I'll admit:
I let you.
All those cracks the better to draw you in,
the better to absorb you because baby,
I love everything about you that hurts.

Then there is this guy again,
the damned emcee who called me a virgin--twice!
He must have never seen your face,
He must have never seen me watching you.

My turn now to stand here,
a chance to feel important for a moment,
and maybe this time you will hear me,
maybe this time you will care.
And someone rolls the dice again.

I have a poem in the 16th edition of The Journal of Modern Poetry. Read it here

wimmin’s rights

Have a morning fuck and
send the man home.

He wants to stay,
wants you to call him,
wants to introduce you to his friends.

You have shit to do.

Boil a potato,
eat it with some salt.

He wants to take you out to dinner.
You are not hungry.

There are some stale saltines
in a cabinet somewhere and
plenty of beer in the fridge.

Play some records,
put on an old sweater
and some stockings.

Get high and

You want to dance? He says.
Let’s go dancing.

You are already dancing.

Lay in bed and
read some poems.

Write a bit.

Work on that rug you’ve been making.
He wants to buy you a rug.

You don’t need one.

Maybe paint a little.
Maybe boil another potato,
watch it cook.

You need a television, he says.
You wouldn’t have to stand at the stove
watching potatoes boil if you had a television.

What in hell would you ever want with a television?
Fuck the man and send him home.

(from the guns get bigger and bigger and the girls move further away)

Preorder "the guns get bigger and bigger and the girls move further away" here

Coming in February 2014: the guns get bigger and bigger and the girls move further away, featuring new cover artwork by the talented Addy Marshall. Go on and getcha some!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Buy "Se Refiere a Nosotros: Poems for You" here!

Isn't it pretty?

a month of Sundays

you come home from
the bar again


hoping he will call you,
know that he won't

for many reasons,
the most pertinent being

that he doesn't have
your new number,
no one does,
and that's how you like it

good and hard
with no chance for redemption,
I'm sorrys,
or even a good bye,

just you and a bottle
that doesn't help but
offers a pretty good
for being
so fucked up

and Drunk
and Alone
on a Tuesday night.

(from Se Refiere a Nosotros: Poems for You)