Bruised and Baffled

tell me this, my sisters:

tell me how we sit

in solidarity

eyes dripping,

empath secretions

in unanimous dis-synchronous


tell me how we bond

in tissue passing intimacy,


shackled together

in chosen

discomfiting disclosures

as we were shackled

hands behind backs,

wrists to waists to ankles,

perpetually to our pasts.

tell me how we ache

in our bosoms,

young and pert

or old and wire-bound,


in each other’s despair,

concrete compendium

  • compelling –

as our nation’s

mandate to incarcerate.

tell me how we applaud

each signpost of survival

amen and hallelujah

symposium cum church chorus

stand in ovation

for humble attestations

to each sisters’

peril fraught journey.

tell me how we embrace

genuine and heartfelt fortitude

and challenge not


in the house.

have we forgotten,

one and all,

Lorde’s caution on systemic change?

do we hammer away

at the masters’ chains

with his hot and hate forged

hammer and anvil?





Red Letters

it was crimson

as my bludgeoned futures

that indelibly inked tattoo

my number

screaming neon epitaph

on the chiseled granite terminus

of membership in polite society.

I scrubbed and dermabraded

bleaching pigment from all skin

in scalding ablutions

I slough off

flawed integument

failed beneficent intentions

peel back scarred gaping flesh

until I stand

grisly and gristled

stripped to creaking bones.

I dress myself in mucilage and plaster

draped in gauzy discombobulation

soak in healing balms

oils of mystical rejuvenation

secreted by Panacea

in deep atrial chambers.

having grown new skin

darkened, disfigured

thick and tough

I dip twisted toes

in edifying milieu

crumple, chagrined

at that shoulder-tap

“aren’t you the one

with that tattoo

the ginormous scarlet F?”




Nom De Guerre – Collaboration of A. G. Diedericks & Aurora Phoenix

Very grateful that my collaboration with A. G. Diedericks is featured today on Sudden Denouement. Many thanks to all the amazing writers of the collective

Sudden Denouement Collective

in art
I come alive
when I put my pen down
it’s all uncharted territory
obfuscated scriptures
obstruct my script
with indecisions
and honed inhibitions
I vomit
unintelligible words
ineligible to decipher
paralysis in my analysis
a jargon
too far gone
from consciousness
I thrive
in poetic nooks
inhaling the sustenance
of literary lore
I shrivel
when my fingers
relinquish their perch
click-clack pecking the keys
I lose my footing
skid and wander
meandering Neanderthal
grunting monosyllabic
monotonous monotone
bungled from gnarled
arthritic fingertips
aching hips
collide coccyx
insensate sensibilities
in a house of congress
homo sapiens
barred from sapience
I am a refugee
seeking refuge
in the allure
of a nom de guerre

A.G. Diedericks is a cinephile in the midst of being gentrified into a bibliophile.. Colonized by mediocrity; He moonlights as a clandestine writer. You’ll find him in a dark alley over 

View original post 73 more words

Splicing of the Night

it is late and I am weary

yawning on autopilot

the road weaves its spell

as the highway subsumes me

in ribboned monotony.

I am lulled into complaisance

as my wheels eat the miles

and I envision my welcoming bed.

suddenly I am putting myself

to bed in prison – walking

through the frigid doorway

closing the weighty steel door


locking myself in

as if voluntary were anything

beyond an academic construct


the echoing incongruity

of this supposed voluntary act

clangs, clamorous

crashing against me

with every slam of that door

clanking the lock

where I am held, animalian.

I know not what prompted

this memory clip

reverberating and ricocheting

on my drive home –

this drive I know like

the lines in my palm.

it is not a memory I worry

beach glass smooth in my pocket.

this hollow tipped bullet

fired by my subconscious

triggered, perhaps,

in the greeting by the fall

night air, walking out from work.

Past and present are spliced,

Picasso-esqe, in the memory

and mesmerization.

There is indeed, somehow, art

in the fact that I survived –

grotesque and distorted art,

but art nonetheless.

the steel door clangs

behind me no more

and the survival of myself

scabbed and malformed

breeds art

from my wounded


Core Values

I tighten my core

against the assault

foot firmly planted

on my middle

no middle ground

steely resolve hides

obscured under

adipose in repose

I look alive

Look Alive!

but it’s the makeup

and animation

I have long since

lost my composure


I am rotten and maggoty

though smartly dressed

 by erstwhile friends

there is

after all

an esprit de corps

among we corpses

Turnstile Turmoil, Slow Motion

my inner gendarme

a relentless task mistress

patrols her beat

absentmindedly slapping

anachronistic billy club

against tenderfoot palm.

unsympathetic syncopation

march of jackboots

hard souled cadence of control

stalks my solitude

barking staccato orders

“move it woman!”




“stretch those muscles”

“expand your mind”

martinet of a marionette

yanks my strings

endless chaotic demands

I jerk to action

trip, tangled

in a wiry synaptic muddle

snarled in false starts

twined grandiose expectations.


from my puddled repose

autumn rain patters


reminds me to chill

Swear To Me now on sale (Pre-order only)

Check out this collection, which focuses on mental health. Myself and a number of other poets from Blood Into Ink are honored to be included with our collaborative piece honoring A Room So Still and Silent


Preorder now!

Swear to Me is now available for pre-order through FVR on Shopify. Both the Standard and limited run Deluxe edition (available until December 31, 2017 or while supplies last) can be pre-ordered.

The Deluxe Edition contains five additional poems, including the previously published “Homeward Legend”, as well as four works exclusive to the Deluxe Edition: “Don’t Leave Me Now”, “Hold Me Until My Hope Returns”, “Letters to Chester” and “Love in a Time of Grandeur”.

The followup to 2013’s Ground Zero, the Deluxe Edition of Swear to Me is the definitive edition, uniting twenty poets from around the world to raise awareness for mental health and the craft it gave rise to.

Review copies are available in advance.

Featuring Nicole Lyons, Willie Watt, Phil Benton, Kristiana Reed, Dom, Nathan McCool, Rachel Finch, Rana Kelly, Kindra M. Austin, Sarah Doughty, Eric Syrdal, Ward Clever, Marcia Weber, Laurie Wise, Aakriti…

View original post 63 more words

Journey to Self

(with peace and love, for N.M.)

it has been a dragon quest

this journey to my truths.

there was the leg

that was visionary march

I, astride a fine steed,

led the meritorious charge

traversed rugged terrain

pursuing elusive grail

while dispensing golden

droplets of goodwill.

there were multitudinous miles

mundane trudging drudgery

across arid and barren lands –

I had a roadmap, landmarks,

clear destinations

trusty like-minded companions

yet my shoulders bowed

under weighty contemplations –

inexplicably, I got lost.

I was beset by wolves

werewolves, feigning docility

while herded by shepherds

until they lunged for my jugular.

my foes knew my weaknesses

Achilles’ heels

softest spots of my underbelly

girded against outside attacks

vulnerable to Trojan infiltrations,

as my foes were me.

in frozen silent grappling

savage battles were waged

hell-bent on survival

I gnawed off a paw or two.

I was loaned prosthetics

bionic, some,

by fellow warriors

survived of deathly

skirmishes with selves.

I limp a little

now and then

as my journey continues

I sometimes skip a beat

or shimmy to the beat

of my own different drumming

I march, determined, on









As the Moon is My Witness

Selene my silent sister

you were there that morning

dropping slow and weary

after a long night’s beaming

I noted your brilliance

in those last moments

before darkness descended

(though I knew not they were the last).

you beheld my downfall

in mute solidarity

accustomed as you are

to reflecting others’ light.

you were a touchstone, Luna

through the interminable months

I strained and contorted

climbed, risking censure

for a glimpse of your glowing orb.

I missed your presence

protracted gloom

those many moons

when I found you again

in harvest bleeding

I sat hours agog

penning amateur odes

awed by your lustrous veil.

unrestrained, I mark your phases

as I did mine own

honoring your fullness

with the fullness of my attention

above the trees, obscured

on the horizon

as I commute.

you rise, anon, Selene

gleaming, gleaning

shining light upon the lunacy

calling forth memory

glimmer and shimmer

harking back to havoc

shining forth

to halcyon revival