poetry, prose, etc

occasional slips into popular media

grief body – #7

11/21 – the grief body no longer wants to exist among so many others, because its voice is already small, and it is also selfish. it wants all of my attention the better everything else feels. it retreats for the winter with dire promises and huddles in the cold. it blames me for not feeding and watering it properly. care instructions ignored. why did you lose all of that fat, it wants to know. sullen. we needed that.

for what?

for later. for just in case.

for protection.

what do we need protection from?


what are we protecting?

it can’t answer/it never knows.


grief body – #6

9/11 – the grief body is outsized, the wrong color, uncomfortable in its box. it spills out the sides, bready and new, and cracks the glass walls with muscles it’s told are only for men. it can’t be too soft or too much steel. it can’t really be anything at all. muted in the dark. holding hollow space for a life spark it doesn’t want to have and isn’t sure what to do without. it was never taught to be or hope for anything else and so it struggles under heavy weight and disapproval to build something it can claim as its own. its work.

the grief body is very tired and wants to go home to forget, but it has to keep working.


grief body – #5

9/10 – the grief body won’t lift anything heavy because it doesn’t know its own strength. it has no sensation of weight or space, and it mostly wishes it could fold up and disappear forever. melt like an ice cube into a bath of warm water. insignificant. it doesn’t want to be noticed for fear that it will be tested beyond its limits and hurt, bad. punished for being alive and for daring to try and push itself.

the grief body doesn’t want to get better, anymore. it wants to rest and forget and keep all eyes off of its quiet failure. it can’t imagine what could be worse than that, there’s simply no opportunity to fall.


grief body – #4

9/3 – the grief body doesn’t know patience. it doesn’t understand the word. it exists in the utter now. temporal freeze. ice-crystal stillness, pulsing and full under glass. too much holding. patience is for men, money, and time.


grief body – #3


8/29 – the grief body hoards pain like a refugee twice-traumatized by bombs and rubble. it wants to remember waking up screaming, always. it holds ancestor memory of land gobbled up gas and shells and falling rock. it holds infinite pain ground glass-sharp and fine, greedy to hold it forever.

The grief body does not want to be forgotten and so it speaks up in the only way it knows how – war. it knows that everything is always at stake.

the grief body is tender before it is cruel, but never after.


grief body – #2

8/28 – the grief body is a body i don’t feel i can share with anyone, because it has no right to be. even in text, the way you take it into yourself to imagine and inhabit the story. i stop before completion. is it because i don’t know what that abandon really feels like? i have no point of reference – even in the first unfurling of pleasure i wrapped my hands tight and made it obey a predetermined shape. i’ve never kissed the sky, though once my head filled with galaxies and plentiful stars – and then i was alone, still. can i feel that? with someone? i want to, badly.

the grief body also forgets because it can be cruel, and remembering everything focused into one fingertip or tongue can level a city of hope and pleasure. carefully-laid foundation demolished. i believe when it does, it is glad.

the grief body is not unique. too many of us live here.


the grief body [fragment]

the grief body knows things i don’t.

it remembers everything that i can’t, right now, but reminds me every time fingertips or lips trace my skin that it used to feel different than

the lightning sharp crackle that registers as a tickle

but is panic, a too-much-stop-it

under nerves unfurling white flags


the grief body is a delicate system – too much sun and it curls and dies

too much water and it sighs, sloughs gloomily into


untouched by earth.

you can’t feed it enough when it rears and stomachs greedy gulps of shadow, never quite the food on its plate

you can’t calm it when it rages across salt and heat-baked plains to crash senseless

against stone.

or when it curls,


into its own pitted core.


it burns too bright

and dies its little deaths

before i can.


it’s not a new feeling –

drawing down the moon

is something the female


body does

in our sleep


but it’s been awhile for me.

i’m used to the lighting tingle

of possibility.

that i remember from


this, though.

lissome stream trickles

over smooth pebbles

mountain-clear and cold.



a want with no expectation.

a hope that doesn’t burn

or consume.

a steady growing moon


pulling night into

its glow.

it’s hard to dance when you’re not sure if anyone will watch you and then when they do of course you don’t want them to

it’s hard to get in the door, every time, even after years and years of being proud


(are you, really)


it’s hard to be alone

it’s hard to catch someone’s eye

it’s hard

(but it is ours)


queer: not fitting, sliding in between raising arms trying not to touch others


wishing they would touch


(not without asking)

(a bullet is a violation of this)

(of so much)


not fitting, ever, even among the unfit

the weirdos unicorns glitter gals butches femmes queens

and never, now, never insulated

from never safe.


out: outside: unwanted: unloved

always find a way to remind us that we don’t belong

that you don’t want us

with you.


It’s important to remember where you came from 

Circulating memories of shoes on tired feet

Clothing in piles

Sleep in the daytime

Sweats slung low

Too much makeup,

Not enough sun.

I remember it all

Smoke and baby oil and old booze and douche and pizza and mold and cigarettes and ass sweat and feet and deodorant and dryer sheets and hairspray and body splash and dirt and cologne and blood

Neon and slick surfaces skim and slip, yes, you gotta be careful with your footing,

But they don’t shimmer like they’re old

Patina of photos in an album

Carefully cornered, scalloped and preserved
I don’t want a tattoo so I can’t ever do it again.

I don’t want a job holding shame cupped in careful hands

Between meetings.
I don’t want to forget, today.

I don’t want to forget


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