Poetry Hub

Future Ex-Patriot


you and I were supposed to be
the death enemies of Sinatra's
best years.
in cyclical bribery, in the
seeping days and months
that followed:
summer, winter,
summer , winter,
and then summer again.

where did we go wrong?

cardiac arrests on the redline,
speeding through the city
to follow the mountains, to follow
the redline of the skyline, to see
it to its bitter end
buried in the pine trees,

on Macarthur's boulevard, 28,
passing dead dogs lining the snow-stained
streets, ice crimping the rime
of winter, and then spring, and then
summer again.

where did we go wrong?

you're 46 years old.
you were. you're dead now,
you're dead now.
microwave still in the house.
truck still parked out back.
even a bottle left untouched,
even still.

you're 12 years old,
you still love your father,
in the distance
is a dog playing in the street,
the cadillacs passing by.
sixty-five miles an hour.

you don't know what it tastes
like yet.

fall asleep after pissing into
the house plants,
it's summer.

and then it's winter, summer, winter,
and then summer again.

when I was younger I used to write
poems about you.
your sister said "why the fuck would you write
this? this isn't what it's like."

oh yeah?

Gillian, Lamented


Finger of God burst through remnants of stormclouds
light pink and pale gold against grey
newly forged iron red-hot with purpose and joy
silver bright against dross
tall prairie grass unflattened by hailstorms
a metaphor for strength,

in memory of Gillian O’Blenes-Kaufman
1996 – 2014



I grew out of fresh starts and
believing in silver-tongued promises of
second chances;
thought stagnation was a curse
and I had knocked on the witch’s door
and paid for it
and with the curse came pain –

a buried-deep kind of awful
underground in grief
and heavy silence.

souls are perennial, though
so it was a growing kind of awful –
tears as raindrops –
so I might, yet, come forth into bloom;

so I may have paid, too, for my blessings



Your body language

I always enjoy our chats

Now tell me again

The March Snows March


The march of the March-snows heart is inexorable.
You can’t stop in springtime slush,
it turns to quicksand and pulls
everything possible with it (that includes walking sticks.
That includes girls who don’t know how to make a change).

Spare and chilled and brown inside and out
without reprieve,
without snow boots or warm coats or a scarf around your head.
If you warm up too quick you die. Stay cold.

You let yourself get this way, the heart whispers
as you shake clinging melted-chocolate slush off your feet
and think about snow blindness and if it’s better than never-changing
sludge-flecked grass as scenery –
You let yourself grow this way
You let him love you this way.

If you warm up too quick you die, he said once to your frost-nipped toes
the very ones that carry you forward now since
you’ll never get warm and you can’t ever stop walking.
Remember how you said you’d never get used to him,
in September?

Stay cold or die.
Stay cold and die.
Stay cold and march through the March snows, heart.