Tarry and Feather

I hit send

and perch on pins

determined not to linger

in the knotted shoulder interval

between my accelerated pulses.

through the fissures in cyberspace

I smell the acrid plumes

  • your smoke signals

fuming in fumes.

you fan them furiously

horrified that I may hear

that detector blast –

its caustic accusatory bleat.


I hit send

and tuck my limbs

careening o’er rollercoaster descent

braiding lost stanzas

of breath between

wind-torn tresses

as they lash

my puckered cheeks.

beyond the shuttered sash

of the hurricane’s eye

I glimpse the tiger claws

  • unsheathed sentinels

steeling your heart.

you pounce and pad

lest I palpate the panic

as it lacerates

peels the sclera from

mis ojos llorando.


I hit send

and pluck an achromatic dirge

from the frayed threads

of our woven unravelling.

yanked through thirsty tears

in the fabric of spacetime

I echo within the repercussions

  • your tortoise shelled saturninity

a caterwauling sonic boom.

you beat a phantom retreat

the envy of Custer’s cavalry

while I reel, Virginia like

across the dust marbled pages,

script unscripted.


I hit send

Discomfort, Unrehearsed

my truths

scratch your surface

unsettling as nettles

woven through

silken scarves

despite laundering



they refuse to lie





my reality

braids cactus thorns

in cashmere

scores my skin

and yours

my authenticity


your narrative

grazes sensibilities

brier patch

among cultivated beds

you smell skunkweed

in my budding rose




your forte


into yourself

in the face

of predators

real or shadow-boxers


vulnerable flesh

under rock-hard

outer shell

you have

perfected your

hidden aptitude

structuring yourself

the archetypal

reference point

for all who may

shrink, sheltering


my heart expands

with the stretch

of your wrinkly limbs

accordioned neck


basking in warmth

exposing your face

kissed by sun’s



with loving persistence

by drifting tufts

of the summer breeze


deemed creepy-crawly

she was confined

in no self-spun silk



she deliquesced

consuming herself

until she is

no longer

more than

mucilaginous goo

you will transform

they told her

you will fly free

beautiful to behold

inside her shell

pulsating gunk and muck

all she knows

is insensate ooze


one morning

she twitches


sludge coalesces

in directable movement

pounding the horns

of her head



she cracks the shell

shivers in the air

while slime

dribbles off

she thrusts forward

seared in dawn


On Survival

this surviving business

is a grisly clotted mess

we scratch and claw

through the carnage

of our wounds


through the muck

toward healing

we press the edges

of our lacerations

squeezing through bitten lips

forcing out suppuration

mingled sweat and tears

we scrape away


layers of filthy rot

in cleansing

tortuous debridement

accompanied by

horror movie soundtrack

hideous silent shrieking

of our souls

ripped asunder



conjures strength



straight backed




getting to


looks like

rabid jackals

in a gory feeding frenzy

on trauma’s


Snake in a Can

coiled deep

within her cells

lie dormant serpents

seething sensory snippets

of the past

in inopportune moments

unseen approach

innocuous but unexpected

ring of a phone

the snake strikes

bursting from her chest

in darting heart

and thrashing breath

she laughs off

her shocking jump

reassuring startled colleagues

she is tightly tethered

to sanity and reality


(art: Johann Ulrich Krauss)

Letting Go

with the effort of one thousand yeomen

I prise the wilted tendrils of ether

from my clenched and clammy hands

having longed with a furor near delirium

for enchantment

for silver-spun magical threads

love strung by iridescent fairies

I grasped at shifting shadows

clung to drifting feathers with ferocity

in my feverish clutch

wings of paradise crumbled

celestial ballad faded

with herculean strength

I open my cramped fingers

release frayed beauty

wishing upon my fallen star-self

Phoenix-like, after the inferno

captivation, free, may re-birth