broken by a

the first problem with love is that nothing else ever matters when it comes along
the second is do we?

the third is we are made of un-fillable holes
fourth, summer grass understands it well, also the grass under winter snows
as in: the breathing and then the not breathing
fifth, the paradox of a human being is the capability of the most beauty
 and the most ugly you will ever find simultaneously anywhere else on earth.
the sixth problem with love is the smoke that our hearts are made of
the seventh problem with love is floors impossible to get clean
and the eighth is then why would you?
the ninth, we never know
and the tenth problem with love is it's all we're for, 

after all this, after the holes after the volcanoes, i'm here
and we can sit here and sift the dirt through our fingers 

or we could take our clothes off and forget,
we could make lists or the lists could make us. I'm not crying.


this is a short poem
it has on flip flops and it is laying in the sun
it looks care free, and it looks blissful
but looks can be deceiving, as they say
as the story goes.

i was born in august
in august it gets very hot.
in swedish, the month is named "augusti"
literally plural of the latin augustus --- "the venerable"
in august hiroshima was bombed and three days later so was nagasaki
this is the only use of nuclear weapons of our time.
I have things to tell you
but they are stuck inside my hands.

like a gun

i shouldn't be here
but the birds are loud & you're so, so pretty
i shouldn't be here but when you look at me like that everything falls.

it is more than a sigh, it's more than a question
this is a green eyed fire and it is always just about to rain.

your hands are what started this and your hands will be the end
it's knowing this that makes me suck the skin around my fingers
it makes me tap on things in quiet rooms
If only your eyes were beds with white blankets
and there wasn't so much time in between the time in between the time.

if anybody were to write a song about her, he said, there'd have to be trumpets.
there'd just have to be trumpets.
she closed her eyes slow-like in response
as if her eyelids wanted to fall, out a window maybe
as if they wanted to roll down hills in third grade.
they said,
what if the grass was the audience - what if this was a round of applause
what if this was digging and not some sentences i wrote out with my hands.
how music happens to you, they said.

but nothing really connects, not really.
the numbers fumble and space does not cooperate
i picture cellular fusions and a grasping
i asked you if the world was turning and you didn't say anything
you didn't even nod
my wrists tossed and turned and opened like lights
with maps we proceed but without maps we end, i said.
it's like static without the cling
i've always been.

nevertheless when we're right there i don't mind it that our eyes don't speak english
and i don't mind it that all feel is this buzz
i can remember if you remind me
i can try and get this down if only my body cools
but love is just like a gun - everyone knows that
and johnny cash said he shot a man in reno just to watch him die
so what does that tell us?

no cases

in here?
some legs down stairs
who do they belong to
i can’t ever make my mind up,
make up for my mind.
sometimes i feel like when i turn around, you’ll be standing there
i’m not sure how i feel about it.
in the shower i let the water go into my eyes; reverse psychology,
i thought, the best things are done in pieces.

i knew when i wrote it i was lying

things we think up at night.

you walked into the room like you were some sort of secret and i watched you carefully. you had a closed umbrella, but not tied back up, dangling from your hand and it was dripping drops on the wood floor, i counted, one, two, three, drops.

things that fit together fall apart.

even in my dreams i'm dreaming.  in my dreams i have dreams, i learn things that are not safe for the real world, not here ---  if you're going to say anything you had better whisper.  in my dreams i know all of the answers and then i slowly forget, like holding a pile of leaves and handfuls dropping at different times, i walk and they crunch, the usual.

i am trying to tell you.

i should be tired  and i should be lonely but somehow it sinks in and disintegrates.
it becomes me; you're proof.  so i wear it like a scarf that goes off and on at my leisure because there once was a girl who asked a million questions until they all became one answer that she used whenever she needed it, the answer was yes but she didn't use her mouth to say it only her eyes and whenever you were around she tried her best to stay quiet.

it was like this.

you: legs crossed at the ankles , hands folded, eyes demanding the usual.
me:  tiny sips and a fast heart, too fast. "too fucking happy." us who? 
so i say something hurtful and your face does it's job and my body does it's too.  like a camera flash but it happens on the inside, like a pause for your heart that becomes a sharp light that travels up the back of your neck and front of your lungs to your brain, and then settles. this almost hurts but afterwords everything is clear, the truth is crystal clear because here pain is the only proof of love, it's how we were taught the definition, the meanings.
this is a swamp to muddle through, heavy boots and wet wars with the land.
this is me trying.


it's time for a little give and take
a little word undressing.
it's time for the all-unfolding,
 a mission into space.
so write, so do it. so move your shoulders, 

touch the songs with your fingers.
 hands behind your head, you know exactly what this is because
my eyes couldn't help but tell you. 

one more sip and i'll call it a night. 

one more sip and we're through
but it's morning, it's only just begun. it's morning.

she runs her hands through her own hair like something might happen, like some monumental waves are crashing and they are, they are, somewhere,  thousands at a time, the earth has so many hands.  it's like when we made out to that radiohead song, just like when we kiss. i follow the guitars rules, like biting into an apple. the teachers voices were always all  drowned out - like i was underwater, no one here but the loud heartbeat sound, i memorize it and tap my fingers, there's no one here but the heartbeat sound and all we can do  is sing.
"you're a beautiful girl-  act like one" he said, a stranger, but all i could think about was the words. i wish he knew and anyway, why would i want to act like that? the way people throw around the word beautiful like it doesn't mean guns and glory, like it doesn't mean blood and guts.


it's an unnameable , you're chasing shadows.
no one knows you're a writer with the doors shut.
no one touches the skin, or do they
what  is your name when they touch you?
you can't remember
the sky is jagged edges
the air is a bruise
you are new here
don't forget, repeat it like a prayer.
you use the words like a blanket when you can't sleep
it doesn't matter what they're telling you.
one more button
if you heart is racing it's only cause you didn't ask it for permission.
if you're on the table it's because you used your feet and legs to get up there.
it's because you did it.
be like a bruise and spread, i thought in my head,
get inside, shake me up, this is me asking for it without uttering a word.


how does it feel?    to know my heart.
the bottles are lined up;
the questions are asked, like confetti
sticking to the air and to the fingers,
we answer them like quiet spies.
your eyes are little popcorns and i
eat them one by one.
here it comes
what we have all been waiting for:the big hoorah
the lowercase sweet sixteen,
you know.

it is a thing that has been done for centuries
so no one brings it up
instead we laugh and hold our drinks with our pinkies out to ensure confidence
and no one uses words
that may indicate that they care
only "i's" and "me's" ah yes
but you. i am waiting.

so we tip toe through moments like maybe they aren't happening
and i'm stuck throwing up out my of eyes and no one holds a glance;
no one holds a candle.
you remember making them in third grade at a renaissance fair field trip
 no one told you how the wax would work the same way your heart does
stick to your lungs like glue and beat and beat and light up on fires.

this is a three ring circus
a four chorus song
i loved you before you could open your eyes
before you put the pen to the paper
i was singing your name.
when i feel small i crawl underneath the bed
and when i feel big i kiss you
but i don't think i like the way you hold me
and by me i mean everything i find pretty in this senseless, swollen world.


it stuck in my head all night
i probably cried about it
probably as in, yes i did cry about it
but you won't know
and i won't tell you
so where does that leave us?
somewhere south of nowhere
not found on a map
i don't care enough.
poems are when the truth and lies get so
close together you can't make out either.
like when your fingers are so cold 
you can't tell if they're touching anything
just run up, over, and write it down, it's that easy.
Eyes like a chocolate fudge brownie
and grass against my legs
"limbs," i thought. limbs.
the trees were sighing and grabbing at the sky
and all the birds came down to rest on the soil
our wings are tired, they said
i told them i understood
"I empathize" I said.
they came down to repose
to watch human hearts pretend to have wings .
we snuck up when they weren't looking
up. here it's siren nights and sounds, an immortal smell of rain
wild eyes that are always teary for all the right reasons.
you asked me what happened and i'm telling you,
you asked me what happened and i'm drawing the picture.
i haven't dreamt of the end of the world in a long time, i think
i knock on wood.