The writing about was the writing.

Reads like a prayer (but isn’t)

The writing about the writing is the writing. Let me pick up at the beginning let me believe the circle let me push past the absences let me bury my dead. It reads like a prayer but isn’t.

July is furious with me. I woke up this morning and the scar from the graft was burning after months of calm. I note the dates as they arrive, but refrain from counting them all at once.

July has stuffed herself down my throat and I am breathless. There hasn’t been a single day this summer where the sky’s turned California-blue, whereas I am all California-blue.

When it hit, did you remember that you said you’d never survive to see it? And after, did you wonder if perhaps you shouldn’t have?

Apologies for all of those moments when I didn’t, but never for those when I did.

An explanation

Arbitrary arrangement of coincidences. Somewhere between it happened and why did it happen. Somewhere between it. She isn’t gone so much as missing.

I’m never being straightforward with a pronoun. There was a reason. An explanation? A promise — to close a window.

The stubborn walk home from the train, sulking. Really didn’t ever know what I was doing, even when I ought to have known. When literally pressed against a wall, back down.

This feels like a line in spite of.
This feels like a spiteful line.
This line feels like spite.

Idea of compass. Suggestion of circle. A spinning song,

I’m all fragment and it doesn’t suit me. I’m all gone with missing. There is no asking for her(e).

The Howling Bottoms of It

Let’s say I’m stronger than I think. That’s not the same as strong enough.

A perfect circle is not a problem solved. A perfect circle is not a line but doesn’t preclude the existence of lines. I have probably written nearly exactly that sentence before.

Two plates, twelve screws. Will I ask to keep them? Would I keep them in a jar next to the urn, my souvenirs of the saddest year, my proof of a singular reality in which these ashes and these pieces of metal belong wholly to me.

Let’s say that I might have scraped it, the bottoms. Let’s say that it’s always been that way. That’s not the same as finished.

Isn’t it pretty, the completeness with I am erasing myself from the story. Isn’t it clever, that the story is writing me back in. What I am in conversation with is obscured intentionally. From me, too. But the story remains informed.

The writing about the writing is the writing is the story is the circle is a line and where we meet, again.

Let’s say that I am not a character. That’s not the same as being real.

Sharp, enough, yet

This that prefers action verbs. This that writes. “This that” will have to do away with.

Remember memorizing villanelles to recite to your brain to slow it. Appropriately obsessive compulsive. Auden and Bishop as weapons.

As a child took to fight image with word and that quiet order of repetition.

Behind this: entryway, unguarded. Instead of this, exacting and precise.

Not to draw up the plan but to write the plan. There is a literal problem of geography that is complicated by chronology.

The outline isn’t sharp, enough, yet. This/that is throwaway. This that is everything.

Specific, worth and purpose

Last night I was in the shower and I called out to E. and to myself: I will never enjoy one minute of my life. There are too many conceivable contingencies each with specific anxieties. I was not being dramatic.

Earlier in the car we’d talked about leaving the kitten alone overnight. I said to E.: It’s not separation anxiety. It’s much more specific and obvious. If I’m not with him, he will maybe drop dead.

The problem is circle not syllogism.

I have been worried about poetry again. About my poetry its worth and cursed purpose. How it stands in the way of the story. This is my project, then, perhaps: To worry the poems to death, to kill them and let the story live.

Yes it is, absence-defined presence. It is two stories, that which did happen and that which did not happen. And all the iterations of what might. I cannot abide a one-sided conversation; this is worrisome.

And suddenly there is no window.

An exclusion or an allowance

I hate statistics. Unreasonably sure statements of fact, missing piece of person stuck to assurance. Look at it this way: If you tell me that the odds are 50/50, I know which side of the 50 I’m on. It’s not pessimistic so much as accurate, a statistic itself. You try to hold yourself accountable. Words carry varying amounts of weight. The need to account for the why becomes overwhelming. What lives behind a number, in corner, in a fold. There is possible exception. An exclusion or an allowance or both at once.



In any specific situation there must be
Given the context and related facts
A skin / Boundaries
That do not ask for definition,
A way of moving without pushing
Up against. In any specific situation
There will be actors, must be bodies
Moving across and against mouthing
Words that will exist as a reminder
A tattoo / July
With a new heat, and a familiar exercise.


I am not asking. A question which stills,
Resting, biding time. A birthday.

Bone stirs, fidgets, restless. Buried
And digging / uncovered and hiding.

A swing, a scar, an urn.
Objectively overwrought,

Ringing branched open window.


thirty seconds I forget my body and my eyes open and close and I’m moving my hand is clenched and hitting the rail I’m thirteen I’m sixteen nineteen twenty two almost twenty nine and I don’t even pay attention.

A song I’ve known longer than

I never even considered: What got erased; what didn’t. My eyes open and close. Define the perimeter.

(I wrote all of that yesterday in the sun on my iPhone. Probably.)

Today I’m rasp and burnt-red and summer is a morning thunderstorm/

time & ocean

I am walking today like a stubborn pony, my foot kicking back with a tentative fury. And thinking about horses, about a girl who loves horses and the summer. E. and I drove past the stable where I learned to ride one day last year and it was closed. I cried and got hot and angry. This too couldn’t be allowed to exist.

How quickly we get from little girl: A bucket the beach laughter. How little girl there still is, scraps of her. You is a character like she and I and everything else. It knocks me off my balance this need to define. My intentions are certainly questionable but I have answers. I will go back and add line breaks. I am paying attention to commas.

I had occasion to revisit my high school yearbook. Skimmed through strangers telling me that I didn’t need luck. You are so talented really talented the most talented. (But we hate you.) Skimmed through various versions of myself so much smiling. I used to be coy but now I’m just tired. My foot trembles when it’s tired.

And no I don’t need a particular box to remember who first said best smile. I need the box to believe that anyone exists outside of elbows and artifacts. And to restrain what I can carry, limit its blurry mess. There is control involved all the time, almost. Leave room for air. Leave the room for air. Leave, make room for air.

Abruptly swing to the different shapes of the disappearing, reappearing bruises. Scars become ivy growing over another gate. What gates do, what I do with them. Why it’s time to need another tattoo. To mark tangibly that I exist outside myself, for myself, again.

July is rapidly becomes nearly-here. Am I coward? The question is about character. She and I and everything else is just filler for time and ocean,

Sometimes, aware & fighting

I fight, when I realize what’s happening. But often it takes infinitely long to become aware.

If it feels like I’m really screaming. Or why I’m in a house that doesn’t exist. Why I’m not angry, or why I’m so angry. Maybe a window is barely cracked open but I can hear the cat whine. And cats don’t even exist, perhaps. Went extinct in early September.

Often it has to be a few things together: I’m screaming at a man I never have to see again and I’m running down stairs and I’m shattering windows that I’ve already shattered and the clock is fuzzy and I can’t get my phone to work. I can’t remember the phone number of the person who will save me.

You feel your mind push back. Don’t scream; you’ll wake the nurse next door. Wait, what nurse next door? You do know the phone number. You can see each digit, you are whispering them and then you realize the window is already shattered and that you are safe and no one saved you. The phone starts to disappear.

My eyes opened and I make out pillow, window. The sound of air conditioning. I grab my phone, my mother talks me awake. I make lemon ginger tea, letting the tea bag steep too long on purpose. The sharp ginger on my tongue.

I am infinitely aware and I am sometimes fighting.