The Timeless Ocean

A photograph that loses you in it:

a bubble-bath of crème-de-cloud twinged with peachy sun;

a knifelike field of dread-blue waves, salt-hinged blades

snatching and clattering at the sky’s gray mattress; swallowing

long-lined pelicans in a pastel basin of half-melted August day purpling

to night in its blooming mysteries; the switz

of supernovas self-incepting over and over anew

on octopus skin; the giggle

of bioluminescence dying at your shore-feet.



on my desk, like bowling pins after a bomb’s exploded

in the basement of a skeleton shop,

each self-contained; though the sapphire pink lake would swim so nicely

in the lapis jungle, they stay ages apart, nearly-touching,

roll-click-distance yet blind

to each other’s existence,


i know i’m supposed to deal with it but i just don’t want to;

everybody else is falling apart and the piano keys

have written a train track on my back

so my head rings with things that come out fun-house-

-mirrored when i try to say them, &

everyone else on the taxidermist’s desk

looks at me like i’m crazy

but in reality no one really is

looking at me at all, they just see me

in their own deep-set chapter of reality

volumes and asymptotes apart.



I like to imagine the pimples on my face are citizens of a dermal topography, little rosy microcosms — of pain, yes, but also of fright and joy and mirth. And love, even. From deep in the angular grasslands of the eyebrow, one sends long-distance messages to another, who waits anxiously amidst the crowd at the shoreline between jawline and pinna’s drawbridge. The lip-hinge drags under the weight of an eyeless lover’s sorrow as the beloved blip kisses towards another one. The single ruby drop right where the angel touched under the nose to take away my knowingness a half-second after birth is lonely but doesn’t have much of an idea what to do about it, if anything. Still I like to imagine, as the erroneous forms wrack their roadways into my skin, as they cringe the wrinkles on my forehead and deepen the sun damage on the mountainous pores they have commandeered, silently still I like to imagine that they at least are happy, blissfully unaware of my eyeballs rising from the backyard, counting the marks in the mirror, and despite everything I pretend to believe they think they are people, capable of love.

rehearsal marks

the more time i spend inside my song,

the more hideous it becomes, until i want nothing more

than to hide from it (in an urn or a vacant

turtle shell.)the same is true

of my body.


The above sea turtle, who is both prettier and happier (if more exhausted) than me, was photographed by Brocken Inaglory [CC BY-SA 3.0 ( or GFDL (], from Wikimedia Commons. Original photo description: “Green turtle Chelonia mydas is basking on Punaluu Beach Big Island of Hawaii.”


do i feel this way right now?

— is it the time

or the crushed-spider-leg numbers scrawled

on the backs of receipts —

or is it the taste of my cheeks cutting too deeply

into the flesh of the air

or the self-satisfied smile of the fat cat on the windowsill

that was me when my major-key harmonies

worked in front of people

who haven’t yet decided whether they believe in me

or was it the disappointment in my brother’s digitized face

when i appeared disappointed in my digitized face

in his digitized pupils —-

or was it the algorithms of the arrhythmia that own us

the lostness, the jellyfish in soup, the eyebrow-blade,

the self-bio that like a department store dressing room

lights the sheet off my body to reveal

how little i have done

and how much i have

or the fact that i will neither be someone nor have someone

and that everyone who likes me now will not in a few geologic eyelash-flutters

and that i will be scooping ice cream on the concrete outside the middle school

and that nothing really exists at all, not even my wants

for it to exist, and all that matters

after all is that we pretend

and i’m running out of time to pretend

like the water runs out of a glacier-

-crested goblet ——

or is it just the time?


suddenly it comes that

my eyelids are earthqu-


my fingers explode

holding the brush full of colors

they blueberry-bleed onto themselves

like his trench coat in 79-degree-

-weather. &bleach-sidewalk &nothing




an aftermath again

yeah, i guess i seemed a little crazy yesterday

with the lock-in closet and the

refusal to meditate onstage and the

identity politics shark but

let’s not talk about that

because i already did with my mother

(you know, the one we talked about last week)and she said it’s probably not okay and you probably will not have forgotten all about it by tomorrow morning which

is today morning —

i’m already in mourning

for this degree i (haven’t yet) got: it’s the wrong

degree of sunlight for blossom-crash

of liquid for glass


and did i make any progress on my piece? i think

i did. it’s farther than ever from being


you’ll say you think differently

but you all think the same actually

and i do have musics in my head assuredly

they would sprout


if i could only ever find the time

to gather up the laundry

that covers them like cicada seed

under snow.