Show & Tell
Response to Alex Sparks' poem by the same name
Unlock the doors,
spit out the key
at your feet, let it fall like overripe peaches,
beehive skin and sour plums,
spread thin on the linoleum
Forget the ghosts waiting for you in the hall at night
and all the things ghosts like to hide
Tell me about your scabs
and what you buried underneath them
Tell me about the water damage in your mouth,
teeth rotting to the throat,
to the lungs that sing like crows in October,
teeth filled with gasps and blackberries
Make my lips berries, too,
smeared sweet with seeds, too ripe to peel and eat
Show me those bruises
like orchids blooming wild on your elbows and hips
Show me those jagged-edge parts
that glow in the dark
You use to pray to the moths
the ones that swoop into flames,
ignoring God with earnest abandon,
taking life by the mouth
So forget the cookie jar
and all the things parents like to hide
Forget seat belts, cotton swabs and grandmother’s living room
Tell me about the girl you saw crying
Tell me how you thought she was you
Or just say you can’t remember.
Shut your closet, hit reverse
and buy a new key;
I’ll still ask you to keep it unlocked for me
2:13 pm • 5 May 2014
On Learning How To Eat
The first thing you want to do is turn your mirrors around
to make them reflect the paint on the walls
instead of the way you look right now.
That glass doesn’t tell the truth any more than your magazines do
so take a little break from watching yourself shrink and follow me
to the kitchen. Now that there are no reflective surfaces to distract you
open the fridge and find your Courage. It’s sometimes next to the eggs
but you might also look behind the milk
where it can be pushed to the very back and lie forgotten
unseen in the chilly dark corner until it expires.
Next you’ll need a little Confidence. Try looking in the spice rack
between cayenne and sage, there should be something
you won’t hear about on the tv or in most modern movies
and it’s definitely not one you’ll learn in school.
It just so happens to be the most important ingredient,
so make sure to use it in everything you make.
The first thing we’ll do is get a pot and fill it with everything you’ve got,
all the wishes and goals, numbers and sizes you had been starving for
and throw them in. Every image and comparison you ever made
should follow suit, including any negative words you may have used
that was supposed to be motivation.
We’ll add some salt and boil it down until it’s nothing more
than a tar-like substance you can use to fertilize your new garden.
It does wonders for your Strength and Self-Appreciation
and even your Pride, which will bloom in the Spring,
and come in handy when June rolls around.
This takes a lot of time and practice to get down the routine,
but when you’re realistic and you go slow, something inside will change;
you’ll know what it means to really love you
and how it feels to never be alone when you’re by yourself
so no more cooking for two or three and dumping it in the trash—
Tonight we’re making a meal for one, but if we follow the recipe right
you’ll have enough leftovers to last the year.
8:42 pm • 12 February 2014
So you’ve gone and built a moat around your heart
and a drawbridge of heartstrings too fragile to cross,
convinced you can turn its vaulted chambers into a castle,
and have it a fortress locked deep inside your chest.
Your ribs have turned over like palisades,
the muscles hammered across them drawn tense and ready,
assuming everyone is a Trojan horse with a hidden battering ram
waiting to crush through your stone walls and crucify you.
While you stand watching for conquerors from your tower above,
I swim to your shores in search of a break in the armor to crawl inside
and live in the alleyways of your heart,
to study your language and learn your history
with the hope of becoming a citizen of you.
5:40 pm • 23 January 2014
Poetry 242: Exercising Metaphors
She’s picking figs off Douglas firs and playing the cello in Morse code,
trying to dance her way out of the map drawn on her mother’s face,
and burning oregano in the backyard, hoping to attract something new
into her parking space life.
5:25 pm • 23 January 2014
Anonymous said: maybe i've never been in love, but i do love the way the sun seems to shine, not in the sky, but out of her eyes.
2:26 pm • 19 January 2014
a murder of crows.
a company of parrots.
an ambush of tigers.
a congregation of alligators.
a cloud of bats.
a convocation of eagles.
a business of ferrets.
an army of frogs.
a stand of flamingos.
an array of hedgehogs.
a siege of herrons.
a leap of leopards.
a parliament of owls.
an ostentation of peacocks.
a cackle of hyenas.
a pounce of cats.
a bed of eels.
a pantheon of gods.
a loneliness of humans
2:57 pm • 30 December 2013