Of Roots and Limbs

the tree of she

was flattened

beneath winds unbecoming

that would not stop

kept coming.

the tree of she

was stripped

of verdancy

foliage strewn and scattered

the litter of a life

afore untampered tempest.

the tree of she

denuded of vibrancy

leached of hue and cry

under cyclonic deluge.


recalcitrant roots

of the tree of she


tenacious tendrils


through arid residuum


withered branches


in quest of

an uncertain sun

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


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









When There are No Words

solemn and stately

the moon spotlights

unspeakable carnage

slaughtering barrage

that obliterates luminosity.

silvered rays highlight

massacre and aftermath

bodies and belongings

littering a field

as if lives are to be

collected with the trash.

the old man in the moon

closes his weary eyes

bewildered beyond

his ancient wisdom

while coopted ostriches

bury their heads

in deep dark pockets.

the moon rises again tonight

dragging aggrieved heart

to his designated place

ablaze with consternation.

no matter how brightly he shines

this defies illumination.









Anniversary Aggravation


she observes

the uptick in hypervigilance

she startles these days

significantly more often

than her norm

jumping out of her skin

without provocation

approach with silent footfalls

scaring her silly

muffled but unstifled


escapes mortified lips

hands fluttering, protect

jackhammering heart


she can draw the line graph

the spike in reactivity

distressing dysregulation

above her baseline

her psychologist brain

checks off the symptoms

chronicles the triggers

approximate proximate causes

camouflaged in oppressive heat

autumn stealthily encroaches

absconds with daylight

shuttered from early morn

creeps in

crunching crisply



her mind awhirl

in the busy-ness

of surviving

the calendar

bypassed consciousness

her senses register

seasonal signals

condensation clings

chilly to car windows

rolled for navigation

as they were that day

when the barrel pointed

and cataclysm commenced

memories seldom play

rough cut footage

edited out

of her current screenings

by a militant producer



her body



she did her time

in a concrete tomb

etched in stone tablets

of damnation’s tome

lorded over

by dungeon masters

antebellum gnomes

she withered

skin dry and papery

anima Grinch-like



as an exsiccated raisin

hard and insubstantial

anhydrated bones

skeletal key

belatedly turned

she exhumes

maggoty dragging

leprous remains

thwarting the fate

befallen Rappaccini’s daughter

she sponges feculence

from splintered self

bathes her pulverized


in determination’s


fused in the fire


soul beams

sparking from her eyes








My Bones Intoned


(Inspired by a post by Oldepunk/Ramjet Poetry. Many thanks for the inspiration!)

carved into my bones

imprints of every stone



from eyes that spew cyclones

who claim to be blown

by my deeds sown

as they disown

laying of flagstones

paved on my backbone


as every bone

does crack and groan

in judgement’s zone

they clone


cackling crones

hone the drone

stomping on me, prone

my evils they bemoan

steeped in hell’s cologne

roan perfidy shown

never in peace alone


they nibble scones

baked of guilted crushed skull pone

while blazing fires shone

reflected in Styx overflown

rejecting deeds to atone


incinerated in fire and brimstone

ashes hot and glow’n

coalesce in piercing moan

scarred reknitted bones

chime the ascending tone

rising Phoenix flown













Assault, Ad Nauseum

the rape, ironically

was only the beginning

of the assaults

those penetrating moments

intoxication blurred

splattered a visceral montage

burned into retina

tattooed onto neurons

imprinted, lacerating, into cell fibers

they lurk, Lochness monsters

beneath the surface

drag her

gulping mouthfuls of horror


in the undertow

now and then

the soundtrack

needle on the record

needle on the record

needle on the record

is the aftermath

the boyfriend

who responds to her question

(early morning shocked and hungover)

“Is it rape if you’re too drunk to make them stop?”

with “just go to work” instructions

(ever the worker bee, she showers,

goes to work, where the assailant awaits)

followed, in subsequent days

with an impossible dichotomy

endorse retribution

or acknowledge consent

relationship ends

self-doubt persists

the girlfriends

evening following

whose helpful solution

to repeated blurting

of her reality

is well-schooled

good girl avoidance

“let’s go get drunk”

as her torment

slices too close to the bone

of experiences

they pretended away

the nurse

emergency room jaded

steri-stripped of empathy

whose face banged the gavel

when indoctrinated Catholicism

spoke in her voice

refusing morning after pills

the detective

whose investigative strategies

consisted of assigning blame

to wayward vaginas

that frighten him for his daughter

(her age, he emphasizes)

despite his assiduous

applications of guilted

chastity belts

while enshrining the statement


of the other

the prosecutor

(months delayed,

read persistent self-advocacy)

who dropped preparation

in favor of lunch

blindsided her

before the grand jury

referencing nonexistent conversation

automatic pilot kicks in

appeasing, she nods assent

another helpful helper noted

forever fuming

her voicelessness

in the aftermath


Sing, Nightingale

my tongue remains

whole, intact

yet strangely tied

on subjects

of my subjugation

a likely consequence

of messages

spoken and


on the importance of


no boat rocking



deference to authority

using my manners

being considerate

toward others

being, in general

a good Catholic girl

I am done

biting my tongue

to protect you

from discomfort

at hearing

the reality of

my experience


no more


Ms. Nice Gal