I am a writer, and my currency is words.

Some authors carry wallets, dictionaries, thesauruses

readily at hand.

I keep my words like loose change,

jumbled in my pocket.

My vocabulary pocket, I am loathe to say,

does not do its job.

A phrase gets caught on something else,

stray syllables lost in deep corners.

My mental fingers are not nimble

enough to wedge them free.

Speaking is a nightmare,

grabbing verbs instead of nouns,

fumbling with my payment

to purchase social           .

Oh no.

It seems my pocket     a hole.

That         thing always      me down!

I’m so sorry       like this.

me      some patches

Before                  out.




The End of the World

I thought Eliot wrote,
“Not with a bang but with a whimper.”
I thought Stipe sang,
“And I feel fine.”
So why do I hear and feel
these gunshots?

I remember the beach being wider than this
I never see fireflies anymore
The weather can’t seem to decide what season it is
One hurricane after the next
One earthquake after the –
One flood after –
One blizzard –

I guess if there are enough bangs
all crammed together
with hands over our ears
it sounds like a whimper.
I feel afraid.

My Friend

my constant companion
he is every shape
new to full
waxing and waning
a brilliant white
a vibrant red suit
“Goodnight, Moon.”

no photos, please
his good side is ethereal
and cameras can’t feel
“I love you to the moon and back.”

baby blue days
velvet black nights
bordered by puffy clouds
mirroring distant stars
“When the moon fell in love with the sun, all was golden in the sky”

never lonely
never lost
strength to command seas
gentle glow, never glaring
“Hey, Moon, please forget to fall down.”

every car ride
mommy, daddy, look!
it’s my friend, the moon!

“I sit by myself, talking to the moon.”

It Devours!

“Don’t be afraid,”
say the dead-eyed tv anchors.
“There’s nothing you can do.”
Some desks are already
People are barricaded
inside homes, churches.
They are not safe.
No one is ever safe.
It just feels so empty,
so hungry.
Maybe one more soul
will fill the aching void.






The Tale of a Tiny Troll

Hello, friend, my name is Bup.
Small and green and soft,
I am mostly made of moss.
Tonight, on fish I’ll sup.

I waddle to the creek.
My trek is very long.
I sing my trekking song.
My voice is rough and meek.

By the time I reach the stream,
my tiny legs are weary,
and though my eyes are teary,
I cannot help but beam.

The water’s full of little fishes,
so delectable and plump!
And with one mighty jump,
I have my choice of dishes.

I slurp down a nice grey minnow.
Its taste is smooth and sweet.
The current ruffles mossy hands and feet.
My panging hunger begins to winnow.

All a sudden, I’m going up!
A giant beak holds me fast.
I do fear my time has passed.
Farewell, friend, my name was Bup.

To All the Break-Up Songs

Singing along with the car radio,
It seems like every song’s about you.
CeeLo forgot you (at least on the radio),
Carrie slashed your tires,
Taylor’s never getting back with you,
Gloria’s surviving,
Kelly can finally breathe,
Beyonce assures you’re replaceable,
Gotye and Kimbra were cut off and screwed over,
and all fingers point at you.
Surely I am happier not knowing you at all.
Tears, destruction, and malice are your souvenirs,
Broken hearts and Top 40 hits.
The rest of the world seems to relate.
Although I know all the words,
I just haven’t met you yet.
Perhaps you’ve been slandered,
Made some mistakes,
Thought that love was just an easy game to play,
Stumbled and got lost in a convoluted relationship.
I wouldn’t know.
I think I would prefer to feel the heartbreak
Than be the only one who doesn’t understand
So, take a little piece of my heart,
I need someone to share it with.


Born in anger, fear, or stress,
the little Scream starts inside.
He wants to get out, to see the world,
but he is trapped and chained.
He starts in the head, a tiny voice,
“Won’t you set me free?”
But then he grows as time goes on,
and falls into the chest.
The Scream hits the ribs,
bounced around, bruises his cage,
but still is confined to prison.
Screams feed off of sorrow,
of pain and doubt and rage.
He grows so fast, so big, so strong,
and claws his way upstream.
Up out of the chest, into the throat,
and digs into the vocal folds.
“LET ME OUT!” he cries, desperate for light.
He’s only known the inside,
damp and dark and small.
But the throat convulses, swallowing,
and squashes the Scream for good.
His corpse falls into the stomach,
A heavy grave forevermore.


I see my life like a string.
It grows with every day.
Each moment that I’m living,
It bends a different way.
My moods, they change its colors:
Red anger, peaceful green.
The colors mix together,
Some ugly and some clean.
My thread will weave together
With others that I meet.
The patterns that we’re making
Compose an awesome sheet.
We swaddle our whole planet,
Wrapped up in all our strings,
Painted by humanity
And all Earth’s living things.
And, oh, the picture woven
By our community
Every faith, color, gender…
A rainbow tapestry.

I, the Butterfly

you nagging sparrows, stay away!
see my eyes, watching always.
see my trophies, certificates, grades.
see my pride, demons, stay away!

do not look too close, I pray.
do not see this painted fraud.
do not see my scales and pride
crumbling slightly under stress.

see these colors! they mean poison!
see my smile, it means I’m fine.
see the forest, not the trees.
pay no attention to those rotting leaves.

do not touch the butterfly:
you will cripple its wings forever.
do not inspect my state of mind:
this facade is holding me together.

Senior Week Trip

I haven’t been to the beach in a very long time.
My mother says the waves make her
nauseous- sorry, nauseated
(My mother’s an English major).

Last week, I went to the beach.
I hated the sand.
I hated the sun (sunscreen
every 15 minutes for this
untoasted marshmallow skin).
I hated the wind tangling my hair.
I hated the salt water spilling
without my permission
past my lips, and teeth, and tongue.

I liked watching the waves.
While my friends napped on towels
or laughed in the roiling sea,
I felt my eyes forever pinned on the waves.
The water pulls and tugs at itself,
folds and bends and crinkles.
It builds itself into towers that,
like Babylon, must fall.
They tumble in so many droplets
still a single wall of water.
It crashes against the surface,
a blow shattering both victim and fist.
It rolls across the ocean surface,
splitting, reforming, colliding.
The wave turns to so many smaller
bubbling crests that race one another
across the shallow shore.
They trip and surge and stumble,
smoothing into a a sheet over the sand,
a calm caress of water against my toes
before the next skyscraper, already plummeting,
sucks it back for the dramatic impact,
the collision of earth and sea
and sky
because everywhere is sky.

I know why the Greeks thought horses sprang from the surf.
What else could breed such stampeding graceful power?

The tide came for our towels, and we left.
Our bags full of sand,
my feet scratched from constant abrasion,
feeling sticky and grainy all over.
I would have rather gone camping.
But I liked watching the waves.

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