Friday, February 27, 2009


Which Emily is the real Emily?
The lines of their hands are the same.
They speak chunks of sweet peanut butter,
cookie batter. Their knees are shaven.

Which Emily is the true Emily?
Teeth dusty, breathing internally,
their ribs uncracked, skin marbled.

Which Emily is the best Emily?
Their stars, their eyes offer no clues.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Train, again

I never wanted to die in my sleep. I wanted to die with my eyes open, to know that it was not a dream, to witness the world shifting.

He sat next to me, his head crooked awkwardly in his shoulder. He was leaning heavily, perilously away from me. I looked at his open mouth, the precisely formed upper lip, the forgotten scruff below his chin. I wanted to tickle him. I pressed my nose against the scratched-up glass instead. Anonymous, unvarying trees barreled by. When I thought about it too much I felt a reliable vertigo, like when you sit in your parked car and somebody is reversing right beside you. Like the world is going in a different direction than you are. It made me sick.

I was listening to the Shins. That year I was always listening to the Shins, and sucking on cough drops to distract myself from the cigarettes I wasn't smoking. I played three hard and fast games of iPod solitaire. I touched his shoulder. He felt felted. He felt soaked in the dripping glue of unconsciousness.

We dove underground. I put my head against the wall and felt everything rushing by. We were in a tunnel. If everything around me disappeared, I would have been sucked down quicker and quicker and I would have shrunken into nothingness. I took his hand. It was slack and flaccid. There were dark bristly hairs climbing from his arm and wrist up onto his hand, past his knuckles. I wanted to tell him he was an ape. I had never seen him shirtless and I wondered, again, if he had back hair. It frustrated me that he kept himself so private.

I wanted to get out my vitamin water but it was down by my feet and bending down would have wiped me out of existence. I was barely corralled in reality between the wall of the train and his round, uninterested hip.

Four more stops.

I decided I would wake him up after Canal Street. I was feeling nervous and impatient. We were rushing through the tunnel and all was fluorescent light. Everybody in the train looked sallow and distant. We were all in transition. Nobody ever sat on the train just to be on the train. This had never happened in the history of the city.

I squirmed for my phone and scrolled through my contact list again. There was no reception, of course. My mouth felt dry. He looked so uncomfortable.

The train squealed to a stop. Three more until we got home.

I made myself cough. "Adam," I said softly. Then again. "Adam." I felt bolder now. I reached over and snapped my fingers in front of his face. "Adam."

He shifted a little. Then he opened his eyes. Blinked at me several times, like somebody nearsighted, and closed his eyes again.

"Adam," I said, taking out my earbuds so that the overhead buzz of the train wholly took over, "it's almost our stop. Come on, wake up."

A woman reading a book looked up. I cowered.

He arched back to a sitting position, cracked his knuckles, looked thoughtfully at me. "How much longer?"

I shrugged a little. "Five, six minutes." I felt hyperactive, nervous, now that he was awake.

He rubbed his eyes, blinked again, and looked at me. He was pulling down one eyelid so that I could see the inside of it. His eyes were the color of moss in August.

"Okay," he said.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Harvard's Ode

Brass, anglican, your eyes are
pupilless, your toes are pennied.
Lucky as a rabbit's.

O, justice, she is running
in slow motion, but you are immobile
and cannot catch her.

They pose, and when they smile
you cannot smile, your face held proud;
yes, always your face is held proud.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

not quite lupercalia

This, sneaking into you twice, creeping,
anointing boys you forever denied,
boys similar in height and eyes and sadnesses,
chaster boys, with cracked voices and fragile lips--

is this, maybe, love? Wanting it not for yourself,
but for them, wanting to be
their whiskey, joyful and sparkling all the way down?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


My senses are restless,
leashless, giggling, battering, lapping
with echoed smells, tinted with myth.

They pause not at Persephone,
quicker than Hermes.

They whistle palm-ladders for Hermes.

I am chapped with keeping them,
my fingers skinless, I read in Braille,
but when they wind home I leach the world from them,
voracious, vicarious.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

slings & arrows of outrageous fortune

i am published here (breadcrumb scabs)
you can download it for free
i am the first one in the issue, so you don't have to read the whole thing
however, if you want to, it's worth reading
most of the poetry is good and interesting
i recommend joseph reich's piece